Grant To Study Idea Of French Immersion Campus

ARNAUDVILLE, LA (AP) — The status of the building remains in question, but a $35,000 planning grant has been received to study the viability of transforming the former St. Luke's Hospital in Arnaudville into a French and cultural immersion campus and creative industries incubator.

         The Daily World’s William Johnson reports the former 32-bed hospital has been closed for years and the local tax that funded it has long been abolished. But the hospital's board, which oversees the property, has refused to release the building, arguing it can only be used for a health care related facility.

         The St. Landry Parish Council voted to do away with the board about three years ago. But the hospital service district, which includes a portion of St. Martin Parish, and the hospital board appealed to the St. Martin Council, promising to have a new health care related tenant in the building within six months.

- Sponsors -

         Three years have since passed without a tenant and St. Landry Parish President Bill Fontenot believes the grant may help revive the proposed project.

         "This grant is to develop a business plan. That was one of the things the St. Martin Parish president and council wished to see prior to making a decision," Fontenot said.

         "I think this will get the process started. I'm very encouraged and happy about that," he said.

- Partner Content -

Entergy’s Energy Smart Program Brings Cost Conscious Innovation to New Orleans

Offering comprehensive energy efficiency at no cost to the consumer, Entergy’s Energy Smart program incentivizes Entergy New Orleans customers to perform energy-saving upgrades in...

         Aimee Smallwood notes that both Fontenot and St. Martin Parish President Guy Cormier have agreed to provide matching funds for the grant issued to the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation by the National Endowment for the Arts.

         Smallwood, the LCEF's executive director, said the grant will pay for the first phase of a comprehensive master plan. Work is expected to begin next month.

         "Arnaudville is poised to set the pace as a place where arts, culture and the community work together to capitalize on the city's historic richness," Smallwood said. "Funding from the National Endowment for the Arts endorses the desire of a growing creative community that has attracted interest from throughout the state and internationally."

- Sponsors -

         Arnaudville remains a community where Cajun and Creole French is a living language. It is possible for visitors to eat in area restaurants, shop or go to the post office and never speak a word of English.

         For more information

Digital Sponsors / Become a Sponsor

Follow the issues, companies and people that matter most to business in New Orleans.

Email Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter