Community raising money to purchase AC for school gym - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Community raising money to purchase AC for school gym

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Mamou, LA -

One Evangeline Parish community is raising money in hopes of getting an air conditioner for the high school gymnasium.

Mamou High is the only high school in Evangeline Parish that doesn't have air-conditioners in their gymnasium. The community is now raising funds in hopes of giving the students and faculty some relief from the heat. 

Thursday afternoon, the Mamou basketball team practiced in the gym. Even in the winter, the teams are working up a sweat. 

Industrial fans are the only cooling source they have, even in the summer.

"We have to take a lot of breaks to catch our breath and drink a lot of water so we don't overheat," Caitlin Thomas, a senior and basketball player at Mamou High said.  

The gymnasium is currently fine to use, but during the hot summer months it's another story. The school hardly uses the gym when the temperatures are high and the community is hoping to change this for future students. 

"It's not a luxury, it's a necessity today in Louisiana," said Elvin Reed, a Mamou High graduate. 

Reed graduated in 1943 and hopes to help upgrade the gym as a gift to his alma mater.  He  came up with the idea to raise money and has been working with Mamou's Rotary Club to help raise funds. 

"This building can accommodate a lot more events besides sports," Reed said. "It's a meeting place where you come together, and it's just not being used because it's too hot." 

So far they've raised $1,000. Along with Reed, Vivian LaFleur and her husband John Curtis LaFleur are both working on raising funds. Vivian said the fundraising symbolizes the unity the community has. 

"This shows them unity and  how the community can come together and do something great for the school," Vivian said. "Hopefully when they graduate they will have the same desire to help out." 

Elizabeth Chatelain, principal of Mamou High, added, "It is the one place that we bring the entire students body together, so we use it for ceremonies and graduation."

A new AC unit could cost up to $400,000. 

"Hopefully we can get air conditioning, that will help with other activities because this is the biggest building that we have," Thomas said. 

If you would like to make a donation towards Mamou High School's AC unit click here to make a donation on their gofundme account

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