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Gov. Edwards formally dedicates new $26 million residence hall

Last week, Governor John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards visited Natchitoches to formally dedicate the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA)’s new 110,000-square-foot Living Learning Commons (LLC) that began housing sophomores, juniors, and seniors attending the tuition-free, publicly funded residential high school in the fall of 2021.

“What was a dream for nearly 39 years has finally become a reality,” remarked LSMSA Executive Director Dr. Steve Horton. “We are here to stop, reflect, and show gratitude for what we have been able to grow and nurture for nearly four decades.”

Offering space for 360 students to live, the LLC features a health clinic with a full-time registered nurse and assistant, 24/7 front desk security, student lounge, covered porch, craft room, demonstration kitchen, study rooms, and laundry facilities. Dr. Horton and Chair of the LSMSA Board of Directors Mrs. Sharon Gahagan expressed appreciation to the many community and state partners who contributed to the school’s success and the LLC coming to fruition, including Governor and Mrs. Edwards, who visited the campus for the first time since the LLC’s groundbreaking in 2018 to see the impact of the nearly $26 million investment. 

“This was one of the first new construction projects that we undertook after I became governor, so it is a special day to be able to come back and to see it standing here, as beautiful as it is,” said Edwards. “Students who decide to attend the Louisiana School have chosen a road less traveled, and I think that takes bravery, especially at their age. I know they’re going to reap the benefits of this experience for the rest of their lives, and we will all benefit from their contributions to the state.”
 
The Governor concluded by adding his thanks to the many workers, architects, contractors, and subcontractors who saw the LLC’s construction through during Covid when other projects halted.
 
LSMSA educates highly motivated, high-achieving incoming sophomores, juniors, and seniors from throughout the state. Interested students and parents are invited to visit www.lsmsa.edu to learn more or to submit an online application with transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and current teacher recommendations. 
 
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