Lafayette - One of Lafayette's oldest schools will be getting a facelift after the Lafayette Parish School Board voted unanimously last week to use more than 26 million dollars in federal covid-19 relief money to rebuild the campus.
The go-ahead has been given and eventually the Truman Early Childhood Center which has been around for more than 70 years will be demolished and replaced with a brand-new learning facility.
Trueman is located at 200 Clara St. in Lafayette and was built in the 1950s. It was one of several school district properties marked for replacement in the 2010 Facilities Master Plan. The school typically serves between 400 and 450 students in the district's Pre-K 4 population.
"If anyone tells you that they don’t want to go to a new school, they’d be lying to you," said district four school board member Tehmi Chassion.
"Having a new school, it brings joy to my heart, it brings a lot of joy to my heart," said Eureaka Ross, a resident of the northside of Lafayette.
The plan is to build the new center on the sight of the existing site. Student will remain in the current facility throughout construction and once complete, the original building will be demolished.
Chassion says building a new learning center is only going to add to the great things Truman already has to offer.
"To add into that, all the great things we have going on here, great principal, great teachers," said Chassion. "To add a brand-new facility, it’s a win-win for everybody and I can’t wait. I want to build this thing as soon as possible. Asap!"
Ross’ daughter attended Truman last year and she said for underprivileged kids, having a great school to look forward to learning in everyday is a great thing.
"Some of these kids are coming from broken down environments so the least they can have is a well clean and desirable school for them to be eager to learn, you know," she said.
Ross is also a community advocate and says despite some of the things the northside community has faced, the addition of a brand-new-old-school is a step in the right direction.
"As a school that was built in the 1950s in a low-income community, in a community that has been impacted by violence and drugs and the pandemic and this is one step in the right direction," said Ross.
The next step for the school board will be to select an architect and meet with the community to discuss future plans.