- Associated Press - Thursday, April 17, 2014

PORT ALLEN, La. (AP) - The West Baton Rouge Parish School Board has taken steps toward demolishing the old Cohn High School campus, authorizing school district officials to begin the bidding process to tear down the historic buildings.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1eVUBPI ) the board’s action comes after years of complaints that the campus, closed for several decades, had become an eyesore and likely a setting for illegal activity.

“It needs to be torn down,” Superintendent David Corona said about the derelict buildings before Wednesday night’s meeting. “No one in the community wanted to have any illegal activity taking place there. But the board is sensitive to the history of Cohn High and its importance to the community.”

Cohn High, built in 1949 in Port Allen, was the city’s first black K-12 public school during the days of segregation.

“This is a touching moment, to see what’s about to happen,” said Wilhemenia Decuir, a 1955 graduate of the school. “We know it’s good for the community. We just hope as you move forward you will not forget Cohn High School.”

Board President Jason Manola said the school district intends to erect a marker at the site after the buildings are torn down.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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