Plans are moving forward to demolish the old Herod High School to make way for a new community center, the Abbeville Meridonal reports.
The Vermilion Police Jury, which now owns the property in Abbeville, had accepted a bid from an alumnae of the school but when she was unable to produce the funds jurors sold the property to the second-highest bidder, the newspaper reports.
Herod High was named for the Rev. James A. Herod, a pastor who moved to Vermilion Parish at the end of the 19th century as a missionary. He and his wife started a school for African-American children. The current building is not the first school at that location; it was built in 1955 after the original was torn down, according to a historical account on africanamericanhighschoolsinlouisianabefore1970.com. There still is a school named for Herod in Abbeville; it's James A. Herod Elementary School.
The Rev. Walter August Jr., an Abbeville native now serving as senior pastor of The Church at Bethel's Family in Houston, had the winning bid, the newspaper reports. He told the Meridonal that he plans to tear down the old facility and build a 50,000-square-foot educational and cultural center.
“My heart is in Vermilion Parish,” August told the newspaper. “That corner (where the old Herod school is located) needs a facelift to inspire these kids. Crime is at an all-time high in that area.”
August did not give the newspaper a timeline, but the paper reports that contractors have visited the school to plan demolition.
To read the newspaper's story with all the details, click here.