BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Unwelcomed visitors have this napoleonville school without a gym. It's not crime, fire, or flood, but a severe termite infestation.
"It's a lot of kids that play there, it's dangerous," said Catherine Tomlinson who lives near the school.
Termites are knawing away at the gym's wooden structure to the point where they had to close it's doors. If nothing is done, the entire building could collapse. And while students were able to go to class Thursday, people who live nearby are still worried.
"If the termites are in that building, it looks like it might be in the other buildings too...I'd check it out pretty good before I let any other kids in there. Kids are special," said Tomlinson.
And Catherine knows first hand. "This is four of my grandkids," said Catherine as she proudly displayed photos of her family. She has 5 grand
kids and 8 great grand kids. We met her neighbor, another great grandmother, but she says she's on edge. "I think it's kind of scary because you always got children around there playing," said Mary Jupiter. "My little great grandson goes to school over there. I love him to death. I really do."
But in the meantime, people hope that something can be done. " I hope that if they can't fix it they just tear it down and renew it before it falls clean down on somebody," she said. Tomlinson added, "That school is kind of old. They could've been looking after it better, I guess.
They want to ensure that they're loved ones are safe. "So much is happening in these days and times, and you've got to be careful. All of us do. I'm just glad nothing happened while they were up in there. I pray for them all the time. All the time," said Jupiter.
The Assumption Parish Superintendent says they're looking at contractors; they will either reinforce the building with metal or start from scratch.