- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

CENTRAL, La. (AP) - The Central School Board has taken the first step toward securing state property for a future high school.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1o31umd ) the school board agreed Monday to enter for five years into a cooperative endeavor with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to use up to 150 acres of its property for “educational purposes.”

The property is along the banks of the Amite River. For more than a century, the property was the home of a state hospital complex that was closed by DHH in spring 2012, transferring the remaining mental patients to East Louisiana State Hospital at Jackson.

Superintendent Michael Faulk said he’s been working with state Sen. Mack White to develop legislation to transfer the property from DHH to the Central school system. The Legislature is set to convene March 10.

“We have to do the cooperative endeavor agreement first, and that’s when the legislative process can take over,” Faulk said.

Faulk said the cost of the transfer is likely about $750,000. But he said the school system will offset much of that expense by paying to demolish the old hospital, removing some asbestos in the process, once the property transfer is complete.

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

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