Charter Foundation purchases property for second charter school - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Charter Foundation purchases property for second charter school

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

After the first attempt at purchasing property for the Southwest Louisiana Charter Academy was rejected by the Parish Zoning and Planning Board, the Charter Foundation has finally found property for the permanent facility of the second charter school.

At the corner of Ham Reid and Weaver Roads in South Lake Charles, sits the 12-acre property that will soon stand the SWLA Charter Academy.

"The ownership has not yet transferred. We have an agreement to purchase the land and we anticipate that the ownership will transfer within the next 30 days," president of the Charter Foundation Board Gene Thibodeaux said.

Thibodeaux said the board was able to purchase the land for $1.3 million and he thinks it's an excellent location for the school.

"The board's objective is to diversify our geographical location like we consider all parts of the city. Public education is for everyone and charter schools believe that," he said.

But what makes it different from the previous spot of land the board was considering before it was rejected?

"This property is within the city limits. The other property which was opposed is within the parish. The locations are pretty much the same. We had more property at the corner of Nelson and Ham Reid, but we're very satisfied with the location we have chosen," Thibodeaux said.

And excited for the school to finally have a permanent facility.

"We intend to have it ready for the next school year and it will be a state of the art, 70,000-plus facility costing in the neighborhood of $12 million all tax free," he said.

Now the board just waits for the ownership transfer to begin construction on the new school.

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) also approved the Charter Foundation's application for a charter high school. 

Thibodeaux said no decision has been made on where the high school will be located. 

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