LAFAYETTE, la — State Representatives Vincent Pierre, D-Lafayette, and Terry Landry, D-New Iberia, have joined members of the Lafayette community in their efforts to restore the Holy Rosary Institute.
The Holy Rosary Institute, Louisiana’s first African-American boarding school, has been in poor condition for many years. Local supporters of Holy Rosary, including alumni, have been working to get help from the community of Lafayette to restore the institute, and have recently received support from Reps. Pierre and Landry. HB 420, authored by Pierre, attempted to secure a portion of the local hotel/motel tax to fund the restoration; a tax, he said, that was created to build tourism, which is always aided by historic renovations.
In response to the unsuccessful passage of HB 420, Pierre and Landry, standing in front of Holy Rosary today, pledged their continued support to “preserve the cultural, historical and economic impact of one of our state’s and nation’s significant places.”
Rep. Landry noted the institute’s historical, cultural, and economic significance, and said, "This historic institution has survived more than a century of use, disuse, fair weather and foul, and it is strong enough to survive this set back.” He went on to say, “History shows that often people are quick to do the expedient thing, the easy thing or the political thing, but we are here to do the right thing."
The representatives noted they had developed their ideas by discussing the project with all stakeholders, including the local Diocese and the ULL system.
Both Landry and Pierre pledged their support for restoring Holy Rosary, saying, “We hereby pledge our continued support to use all legal means granted to us by our state’s constitution to find the public funds necessary for this locally, regionally and nationally significant and historic place to maintain its standing in our city and state."