Restoring historic buildings does more than preserve a structure. The process f restoration always leads to a greater knowledge and understanding of the history and culture the structure represents. On top of that, historic preservation is good for tourism and for the economy.
The Brookings Institution closely examined the process of historic preservation and concluded “historic preservation has proved its worth. Nearly any way the effects are measured, be they direct or indirect, historic preservation tends to yield significant benefits to the economy.”
In that regard, I deem it imperative that we, as Lafayette citizens, work diligently to restore our historic school, The Holy Rosary. The institute was a significant school for African Americans and was a substantial boost to the education and ultimately to the economic growth of this area.
The school has been the focus of education, heritage, recent community efforts to restore it and even the focal point of scholarly research. One recent dissertation quoted former Bishop Gerard L. Frey, who said, “Without the school’s influence, the socioeconomic condition of southwest Louisiana would have been vastly different.”
Holy Rosary trained students who went on to become some of the country’s finest doctors, lawyers, educators, nurses, and many other highly rated professionals in various fields.
For these reasons, it makes perfect sense to me to turn to public funding as one source for the preservation of The Holy Rosary and the important heritage it represents.