Gueydan High School is closed until Wednesday due to some unexpected visitors.
Hundreds of bats found their way into the facility, forcing the school to close.
“We had 600 bats flying around in the hallways,” Vermilion Parish Superintendent Jerome Puyau said today. He said the animals may have found their way into the campus through a vent or some other form of opening.
Gueydan High School Principal Brandy Broussard says they noticed a few bats within the last couple of weeks but didn’t realize how severe the bat colony was until today.
Broussard said it was in the school’s best interest to temporarily close the school. She said school officials have contacted bat exclusion experts who will come in the school tomorrow to remove the bat colony.
“We just want to make sure that we have them removed and that the cleanup is all taken care of so that our kids can be safe and back to school on Wednesday,” Broussard said. Kerry Richard facilities manager with the Vermilion Parish School board says officials have been preparing the high school to be bat free for a while now.
“It’s been a week or so that we’ve been messing with this with these bats,” Richard said. “Not knowing where they’re entering from. trying to find a particular location but we recognized that these vents were open and the bat infestation is somewheres in this area here with the foam.”
Richard says they have contacted Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for assistance in removing the bats as well as a cleaning company to come in and clean the school professionally.
“You have to because if you don’t get rid of that scent they’ll be back,” Richard said. “That’s what they’re saying. And they don’t like cold weather so this pretty warm building so we’ve been having trouble with that.”
Richard says officials have contacted a professional in Baton Rouge. He will be here at the school tomorrow morning to assist in the bat removal. School officials were also advised to let the animal leave naturally tonight before closing any openings around the building.
The school will remain closed until Wednesday. Superintendent Jerome Puyau said the campus will be thoroughly cleaned before reopening.
“We’ll have to make an audit to make sure there are no stragglers,” Puyau.