Church lends land to NELA school after tornado destroys building

TALULLAH La. (KNOE) – Senior students at Tallulah Academy will attend classes at a new location when they return to school on Wednesday.

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

Tallulah Academy Principal Bentina Finlayson said Parkview Baptist Church is lending them land which they are using for portable classrooms. Students in grades 7-12 will take classes in portable buildings across from the original building.

“The building on the left is a toilet. We have three buildings which are double classrooms. Then the building on the right is our office building. We plan to be here long term,” said Bentina Finlayson, Christian Director of Tallulah Academy Delta.

She says they expect to be in the temporary buildings for the next 2 years and she will be teaching her math class in the upstairs gymnasium of the church.

The lower part will be the cafeteria.

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

“We have sewers running, the water is hooked up, our electricity is on. I’m waiting for my fire alarms to come and install my fire alarms. Internet service is ending and I was hoping to start school next Wednesday,” Finlayson said.

Finlayson says it was important to bring high school students closer to the academy and she felt it was the perfect place.

Parkview Baptist Church pastor Jason Lupo says they were happy to help when needed.

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

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

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