Natchitoches, LA – Members of the Board of Directors at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts unanimously approved a motion to name the new residence hall after Jimmy Long Sr. during a meeting held Monday, Dec. 5.
“Jimmy Long had a vision for excellence in education and believed in the future of our state,” said Sharon Gahagan, chair of the Board of Directors. “Since the signing of the legislation to establish the Louisiana School, Rep. Long’s commitment and dedication have enabled the school to attain national prominence.
“It is certainly appropriate that we honor Mr. Long posthumously by naming the proposed residence hall the Jimmy D. Long Center for Living and Learning. Mr. Long was a wonderful personal friend and supporter of the Louisiana School. He will certainly be missed.”
Dr. Steve Horton, executive director, believes that LSMSA is fortunate to have a cadre of founding fathers – Dr. Robert Alost, Sen. Donald Kelly, Gov. David Treen and especially the late Rep. Jimmy Long – who saw the opportunity to create a residential learning environment for the academically talented that would eventually be the model for nearly a dozen other residential schools across the nation.
“Had it not been for Rep. Long’s dedication to the school’s vision as a model for experiential learning, LSMSA would have faded years ago,” said Horton. “Today, nearly 5,000 students, now spanning two generations, proudly display their LSMSA credentials and hold leading positions across the world.
“How better an opportunity to recognize Rep. Long for what he did than to dedicate to his memory one of the most significant structures of the school than its living learning community building?”
Horton reported to the board that a full project team will be put together to focus on the project starting Jan. 2. It is estimated that it will take three months to complete the CDs and submit a 100 percent complete CD submittal to both the Office of Facility Planning and Control and LSMSA.
It is estimated that construction documents will be submitted April 1; FP&C and LSMSA review will begin May 1; design team revises CDs per review and issues CDs for bidding June 1; bid date July 1; and start of construction set to begin Aug. 1.
A 24-month construction period is projected for the new residence hall.
This schedule will allow LSMSA to occupy and move in furniture/equipment and students in time for the fall 2019 academic year.
Jamie G. Smith, president of the LSMSA Alumni Association, agrees that the residence hall should honor Long.
“Jimmy Long Sr. was a founding father of our school,” said Smith. “It is very fitting that the dorm that will house our students and future alumni should bear his name.”