Church loans land to NELA school after tornado destoys building

The school continues to recover from the Spring tornado
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 7:07 PM CDT
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TALULLAH La. (KNOE) - Upper-level Tallulah Academy students will attend classes in a new location when they go back to school Wednesday.

A tornado destroyed the main building in March, giving them no place to hold classes for the new year. That is, until a nearby church stepped in to help.

Tallulah Academy Headmaster Bentina Finlayson says Parkview Baptist Church is loaning them land that they are using for portable classrooms. The 7th through 12th-grade students will attend classes in portable buildings across the street from the original building.

“The building on the left is a restroom. We have three buildings that are double classrooms. Then the building on the right is our office building. We’re planning to be here for the long term,” said Bentina Finlayson, the Tallulah Academy Delta Christian Head Master.

She says they expect to be in the temporary buildings for the next 2 years and she will teach her math class in the church’s upstairs gym.

The bottom part will be the cafeteria.

Finlayson says the portable buildings are slightly bigger than the original classrooms and they are working hard to get everything up and running by Wednesday’s first day of school.

“We have sewer going on, water is being hooked up, our electricity is up and going. I’m waiting on my fire alarm people to come and put my fire alarms in. The internet service is getting done and were hoping to start school next Wednesday,” said Finlayson

Finlayson says it was important to get the high school students closer to the academy and she felt like this was the perfect location.

The Pastor at Parkview Baptist Church, Jason Lupo, says they were happy to help in time of need.

“Our responsibility to the Lord is to reach out to our community to love one another to share the gospel of Christ with our community and that’s where all this comes from and it wasn’t just my decision, the church made the decision to say yes let’s do this, let’s let them use the property,” said Jason Lupo, the Parkview Baptist Church Pastor.

Lupo says Tallulah Academy can use the land as long as they need.

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