The Holy Family Catholic School has renovated the convent building that housed the founding sisters of the school several years ago. Relocating the administrative offices and the library in the wooden building would free up space for more classrooms in the neighboring brick school.
But that is no longer enough.
“This school is thriving – our children are thriving,” said Pat Trahan, vice president of Lafayette market for IberiaBank. “We are breaking the seams. “
That’s why school and community leaders have teamed up to raise nearly $ 5 million to build four college classrooms and a gymnasium for physical education and track and field.
College basketball and volleyball players have been moving from one community center to another since the Holy Rosary Institute’s gymnasium, now closed, became too run down to train, principal Rogers said Griffin.
Now the school rents time at the Heymann Center, but transportation has been difficult for parents, he said. Having a gym on campus would solve this problem and allow all kindergarten to grade eight students to have physical education classes indoors, and with more classrooms and athletics, Griffin expects to retain more college students.
“We want to add capacity to this program that is already working,” Trahan said.
Over $ 3 million was raised for this 118-year-old school expansion project. Founded in 1903 by the Congregation of the Sisters of the Most Holy Family, it is one of the oldest Catholic schools in Acadiana and the first African-American Catholic school in Lafayette.
“This school has been here longer than the diocese,” Trahan said. The Diocese of Lafayette celebrated its centenary in 2018.
State Representative Vincent Pierre said he was a proud product of the Holy Family and later the Holy Rosary and a proud product of Catholic education, and he urged others to get involved in the fundraising campaign.
“It’s a real revitalization when you step forward and collaborate,” said Pierre, referring to partners like Trahan, Acadian Ambulance, the Boys and Girls Club of Acadiana, Grace Ministries and others gathered at the school on Thursday. .
Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel said he hopes the community will come together and help raise the rest of the funds for the project.
“This school doesn’t just educate students,” Deshotel said. “Catholic education helps create leaders. Vincent Pierre has been here, and now he is a representative of the state. We need young people to participate in our society. The students at this school will be leaders.”
The student body is 95% Catholic and 95% free and reduced meals, said Griffin, who ran the school for 23 years.
“It is an achievement that we must develop,” said State Senator Gerald Boudreaux. “There are no more Vincent Pierres.”