T.M. Landry on the move; Former landlord says school founders broke lease agreement

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Controversy continues to plague T.M Landry College Preparatory.
 
The Breaux Bridge school is moving to Lafayette, but the landlord says that action is violating a lease agreement set to end in 2020.
 
The school’s old location was at a former machine shop on Rees Street in Breaux Bridge.
The new school will be at the old skating rink on Moss Street in Lafayette.
 
“There are some issues regarding the fire code and some improvements that we have to do here, but far less stringent, far less costly, very affordable within our budget,” said Greg Davis, Board Chairman of T.M. Landry.
 
The school says they’re moving because most of the parents of children who go to the school live in the Greater Lafayette area and it’s better for their budget.

However, the landlord of their former building in Breaux Bridge says they broke their lease agreement.
 
“The problem is, we were in a facility that the Fire Marshal had declared to be not in compliance with the fire codes, and to continue to occupy that facility would require a substantial investment on our part, and we do not have that kind of money,” said Davis.
 
“Yes. They broke the lease, I mean they violated the covenants of the lease,” said Neal Hebert, the landlord at the Breaux Bridge building.
 
Hebert says their lease was not scheduled to end until November of 2020.
 
“How did they say they would pay you for those months,” questioned KLFY’s Lester Duhe’.
 
“They don’t think they have too. And now she’s (Tracey Landry) saying that they’re not bound by the lease because the school is now owned by the foundation, it is no longer an LLC,” said Hebert.
 
He says the schools founders Michael and Tracey Landry also haven’t paid him property taxes from 2018.

Hebert says he also had his lawyer send a letter to the Landry’s to get the tax money back in 2017.
 
Hebert gave us no comment when we asked if he would seek legal action against the Landry’s.
But Board Chairman Greg Davis did speak about a potential lawsuit.
 
“I’m pretty sure those things are possible and that’s why we have lawyers,” said Davis.
 
Before the New York Times article the school had  around 110 students, they now have 75 according to Davis.
 
He tells News 10 they’re trying to get a temporary permit from the Fire Marshal to open up their new campus that currently has some issues.
Davis says the Fire Marshal instructed them to install a fire wall, adding more exit doors and improvements to the building’s fire alarm systems.
 
The school is hopeful to start classes by next Thursday.

Background info:
– The investigation into T.M. Landry began after a scathing New York Times article alleged the school’s founders, Michael and Tracey landry embellished college applications to help students’ chances of admission.
– others have also alleged that michael Landry abused students verbally and physically.
– Both Landry’s have stepped down from the Board of Directors and now only serve as teachers.
– The Board is in the middle of conducting its own independent investigation.
– That should be completed by the end of March.

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