School officials discuss plans for Boley's enormous donation fund

OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE) Money continues to pour in for Boley Elementary.

Less than two weeks since the building burned down due to a lighting strike, the community continues to band in support.

"I was appreciative but it didn't surprise me," said Jeremiah Beck.

Local radio station 88.7 The Cross donated $35,000 to the school Wednesday. Their generous gift pushed the total to over $100,000.

"We have some incredibly generous listeners, and the community as a whole is very generous. So I was grateful that it went as well as it did but I wasn't surprised. I was expecting that the folks that live here would do what they always do and that's come through for the people in need," said Beck.

This amount of money requires a lot of planning and proper management. That's why the Ouachita School District is making sure this money is spent wisely in Boley's recovery.

"Now we cannot spend this amount of money for the next four weeks just to spend it and we say that we spent the money," said Superintendent Dr. Don Coker.

The district created an interest-bearing account dedicated solely to Boley.

Superintendent Coker says some money from that account will go toward things like Chromebooks and smartboards the school lost when it burned down. Coker estimates hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of electronics were lost.

"Smartboards in the classroom are going to run you anywhere from 5 to 10 thousand dollars per board. You have 15 to 18 teachers there. So you can kind of start looking to see where some of the money will possibly be used, but it will strictly be used for our Boley elementary students and teachers," said Coker.

Coker also says the insurance payout is still unknown. The superintendent began meeting with the insurance carrier this week to discuss a plan of action along with what is and what is not covered.

"We have to determine whether we're going to use that insurance to build back or to add on to another school. The options are all out there. But for the next year my goal is to try to keep these kids together and my staff together," said Coker.

Coker says by June or July, the school board will have some direction on whether they will rebuild Boley or move the students elsewhere.