Historic DeRidder school starts new chapter - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Historic DeRidder school starts new chapter

by Brandon Richards

DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) - For more than forty years, it was dormant.

As giant boards covered the windows, its future seemed bleak. But the dawn of a brand new day marked the start of a new chapter for the ninety-year-old Beauregard Parish Training School.

Monday, October 26th was the grand opening and dedication for the newly renovated Beauregard Parish Training School building.

Built in 1920, the building will now be part of the BeauCare Head Start. It'll house a library, conference room, kitchen and cafeteria.

Students and teachers especially welcome the new kitchen because before the building was renovated, BeauCare had to have its' students' meals prepared off site. Now, meals will be prepared and served on site.

When it opened, the Beauregard Training School was one of 107 training schools for African-Americans in the South. Training students to become teachers in the 1920s and 1930s, the building was the first African-American structure in Southwest Louisiana listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

The building was closed in the 1960s and for the next forty years remained and eyesore until BeauCare, Inc. thought of incorporating the building to its Head Start program.

In 2007, BeauCare, Inc. received a federal grant to renovate the building.

Two years later, the Beauregard Parish Training School has a second chance to live its purpose: serving as a hub for education.

(Copyright 2009 KPLC-TV. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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