Junior High building only a memory now

Published 11:42 pm Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ferriday — Less than a month after demolition began, all that remains of the old Ferriday Junior High School on Texas Avenue is now little more than a flat area of dirt, old playground equipment and memories.

Directing a group of students from Ferriday Upper Elementary in marching drills during the Ferriday High School’s band practice, which takes place in the lot next to the former school’s site, Deborah Thomas said she was sad to see the building go.

“That’s my old eighth-grade school,” she said. “I think they should have let it stand.

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Superintendent Kerry Laster said she was glad to see the demolition come to an end.

“I’m glad to see it gone because it was a liability for us,” she said.

Though the building is gone, the school district still plans to use the property, and Laster said it may be converted into a practice field for sports teams.

“We’re very excited and hope to see that property used for something productive,” she said. “That area would be good for any kind of sports team practice field.”

The gym, which the Town of Ferriday leases from the school district for a recreation program, was not included in the demolition and will continue to be used.

Gulf Services Contracting, of Birmingham, Ala., demolished the building at a cost of $84,918.

The school — built in the early 1950s — was empty for approximately five years, and last served as a home for the Concordia Education Center.

The Concordia Parish School voted to demolish the building after they learned the building — which had fallen into severe disrepair and was being used by vagrants — had to be brought up to current code or demolished.

School District Business Manager Tom O’Neal told the board at the time it would be cheaper to build a new building than to bring the old building up to code.