New High School To Be Named “Southside High School”
After months of debate in the community over what to name the first public high school being built in Lafayette Parish in 45 years, it was up to the Lafayette Parish School Board members representing them on what the name would be. That name, approved by an 8-1 margin, would be "Southside High School."
Once the name "Youngsville High School" was rejected by a 6-3 vote, it became apparent that the name "Southside High School" had some momentum.
"Our new high school will be named Southside High," says Youngsville Mayor Ken Ritter. "We fought for the name 'Youngsville High,' but it didn't win. Regardless, we will have a beautiful, state-of-the-art high school in Youngsville. It's time for us all to move on together as one community to make this school the best it can be."
Let's back up to earlier in the meeting, though.
Once District 9 and Youngsville-based member Jeremy Hidalgo motioned for (and District 6 member Justin Centanni seconded it) the new school to be named after his city, a group of Youngsville officials took to the podium and stated their case as to whey they wanted the name "Youngsville High School."
Mayor Ritter led off, followed by Youngsville City Councilman Matt Romero and the son of Ernest Gallett. They pointed out online polls which supported their stance, as well as the projected student makeup showing how heavily the school will be populated by students from their city. Romero called the name "Youngsville High School" the "sensible choice."
Then, those who opposed that name took to the podium. Mr. Billeaud from the Billeaud Companies asked the LPSB to pick a "generic name" for the new school. A Comeaux High School student then called for the new high school to be named "Freedom High School." And Broussard Mayor Charles Langlinais discussed his city's financial contributions to the Lafayette Parish School System as opposed to Youngsville's.
After all this, the Board members each gave their thoughts on the matter. District 5 member Britt Latiolais pointed out how $120 of $126 million of the money allocated to them was going to this new school, as opposed to money that could have gone to schools in his district. He talked about how he supported that measure, but had since been disappointed in the rhetoric and tone used by some members of the community against him in order to pressure him to vote a certain way. He commented that he thought the Board was "too inclusive" in this process and should have named the new school in December.
District 4 member Tehmi Chiasson then began discussing emails he received and the Board laughed about one emailer who apparently sent messages to most of them, threatening not to reelect each of them.
It was during this time, though, that the "Youngsville High School" name was voted down and various members began showing support for the name "Southside High School."
But, before the name "Southside High School" was voted in, District 8 member Erick Knezek proposed a name of his own, "Captain Steven Bennett United States Air Force High School," named after an Air Force pilot who received a Medal of Honor and was a Vietnam veteran. But, that name was rejected by an 8-1 vote.
That's when Centanni motioned for "Southside High School" to be voted on. After it was seconded, Centanni gave a history presentation about a school in Lafayette formerly known as Southside High School. He remarked that he believed the name "Southside High School" would be a great way to honor the past and look to the future.
By that point, the momentum was clearly in favor of the name "Southside High School" and it passed overwhelmingly.
Once the name was decided, the Board members decided that the four school colors would be red, orange, turquoise and sage green and that the students would be allowed to select the school's mascot.