Jennings puts in $100,000 to buy land for new SOWELA campus

Jennings puts in $100,000 to buy land for new SOWELA campus

JENNINGS, LA (AP) - It's said to be overcrowded and outdated but the Morgan Smith SOWELA campus in Jennings will soon be replaced by a brand new campus.

"One of the things we have in Southwest Louisiana is a boom," said former state senator Jerry Theunissen and resident of Jennings who was heavily involved in getting the new campus. "We're going to see the job creation like we've never seen before."

The city agreed to put in $100,000 to help buy land for the proposed $10 million campus.

"We didn't want to renovate this old building," said Theunissen. "It would be much better to go ahead and get a new building. So now we have $10 million to spend on a new campus here in Jennings. So, we got together and the different entities came up with $400,000 to acquire property where the building will be placed."

Those entities include the Jeff Davis Parish School Board and the police jury, who put in $300,000 combined towards the property.

The proposed property is 10 acres of land and is located right next to Jennings High School and Mayor Terry Duhon says the new campus is a win for all.

"Anytime you have a technical college of that nature wanting to build a new facility in your community, I believe it brings in a different influx of people," said Duhon. "It brings in a lot of those creative juices. I think it's going to be a win-win situation for everybody around."

The property is being negotiated for $375,000. The Jeff Davis Parish Landfill Commission is negotiating the sale on behalf of the parish.

Officials say they hope to have the new facility under construction by 2015.

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