Film company withdraws offer to buy Fifth Ward High site

Gauntlet Film & Media Entertainment had offered $320,000 for closed school

Any chance of selling the old Fifth Ward School to Houston-based Gauntlet Film & Media Entertainment (GFME) died last week when the company pulled its offer to buy the property.

The issue had been put on the Building and Lands Committee agenda for a re-discussion at its May 8 meeting. Before the committee could reconsider the issue, Superinten-dent Blaine Dauzat announced GFME had withdrawn its offer.

The company had offered to purchase the property for $320,000.

Several Fifth Ward residents addressed the board at its May 1 meeting, saying they opposed the sale because they were concerned GFME would produce pornographic films at the site.

The board at that time voted 6-2 to reject GFME’s offer. The board left open the possibility of reconsidering the matter if GFME partner Rev. Ameal Jones Sr., realtor Brigitte Joffrion and the District Attorney’s Office could develop an agreement that would satisfy residents’ concerns.

Jones told board members at the May 1 meeting that news of GFME’s interest in the Fifth Ward site had resulted in several other communities contacting him about possible alternative sites for the proposed production studio.

He said he would have to review those other possibilities before agreeing to come back to the Building and Lands Committee again.

INTEREST IN BUNKIE MIDDLE CAFETERIA

In another matter, the committee heard from a group of Bunkie residents interested in purchasing the cafeteria of the closed Bunkie Middle School. Linda Thomas, a representative of the George Washington Carver Community group, told committee members they are raising money to purchase the cafeteria, which has been appraised at $25,000. Under state law, the board can accept no less than $21,250 under that appraisal.

Board member Liz Ned was surprised that the appraised value was so high, considering the “deplorable condition of the building.”

Maintenance Supervisor Steve Marcotte said the building was appraised a few months ago, so the figures are based on the building’s current condition.

Marcotte told the group to talk to Joffrion, who has been hired to sell several APSD properties, including the Fifth Ward and Bunkie Middle sites.

PLAUCHEVILLE COMMEMORATIVE MARKER

In other business, Harris Ducote, a 1950 graduate of Plaucheville High, asked the board about putting a plaque or monument at the school commemorating the 1950 class as PHS’ first class to attend the school for 12 years.

He said the plaque or monument could go on inside or outside of the building.

Ducote said class members would pay the cost for the commemorative marker.

Committee members said the Class of 1950 representatives should meet with Marcotte to determine a location for either a plaque or monument.

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