The fate of the vacant St. Luke’s Hospital in Arnaudville now rests in the hands of the St. Martin Parish Council, and those pushing to use the vacant facility for the site of a French Immersion campus are calling on supporters to attend Tuesday night's meeting in St. Martinville.

The issue at hand centers on the future of the First Service Hospital District of St. Martin and St. Landry parishes, a board created in the 1960s to oversee the St. Luke’s facility.  The board — which may be in violation of the state's Sunshine laws for not filing meeting minutes since 1993 — is pushing to bring a behavioral health company into the facility. Backers of the French immersion program argue that such a move would do little for the economic development of the area — a sound argument considering the amount of support they've received, including the French Consulate in New Orleans, three universities and Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne, to list a few.

Recently, after nearly two years of resistance, a majority of the St. Landry Parish Council voted in favor of dissolving the hospital board. For that to stick will require a similar vote by the council in St. Martin Parish, which has yet indicated where it stands on the matter.

Though the agenda for tonight’s St. Martin Parish Council meeting makes no mention of the issue, local backers of the French immersion program are calling on residents from both parishes to attend tonight’s meeting and show support for dissolving the hospital board. The meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m. inside the St. Martin Parish Courthouse Annex building, located at 301 W. Port St., in St. Martinville.

Click here to read more about the four-year long fight over St. Luke’s.

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