Baker schools close to getting government loan to rebuild high school after floods

Local News

BAKER, La. (LOCAL 33/FOX 44) – Rebuilding Baker High School is one step closer to becoming a reality.

Wednesday, the Baker School Board found out their loan application from the USDA to build a new high school is nearly approved.

“This is pretty fantastic that they were able to share that much information with us and let us know what’s going on,” Denise Stevenson, Executive Director of First Quarter, a youth enrichment organization, said.

The USDA is expected to approve a $14.6 million dollar loan to rebuild Baker High School while another $6 million is coming from FEMA. The school has been empty since it was damaged in the 2016 flood.

“You need the bandwith. You need the technology. You need open learning spaces,” Superintendent Dr. Herman Brister said.

Brister said the $22 million proiject will not cost taxpayers more.

Brister said, “We’re not going back to the taxpayers for a bond issue or a sales tax. We are actually being good stewards of the existing revenue that we’re currently getting.”

The USDA loan won’t get approved until a construction document is updated. Stevenson said she is ready.

“All around a great day for baker because we are going to grow our students and we can grow our city as well,” Stevenson said.

Brister said they have already reserved two years of money to pay back the loan. There’s no date just yet on when they will break gound on the new school.

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