Opelousas, Louisiana is experiencing a major boom, with local businesses and big corporations setting up shop. And now, it’s about to welcome an exciting addition to the community – the Helix Artificial Intelligence and Medical Academy, a new public charter school.
“This is going to bring so much growth,” declared Preston Castille, the President of Helix Schools. The school will be constructed right beside Our Saviors Church, just off of I-49, where the business scene is really taking off. This area is already a hot spot with car dealerships, a new subdivision, healthcare facilities, and even a brand new Love’s Travel Stop.
Castille believes this location is absolutely perfect for an A.I. and medical facility. “The A.I. industry is exploding as we speak,” he explained. “It’s an industry that’s constantly evolving, and when you combine artificial intelligence with medicine, it’s mind-blowing. It’s a game-changer.”
Not only will this development bring new educational opportunities, but it will also generate jobs and career prospects for the local community. Castille stated, “We see Opelousas as the place where we can find the intellectual talent to support our businesses and the A.I. and healthcare industry. This will have a massive impact on Opelousas as a whole, especially the economy.”
The St. Landry Parish School Board has given the green light for a $34 million project, which will be carried out in two phases. The initial phase, costing $17 million, including land acquisition, will focus on building a school for students from kindergarten through 5th grade. The second phase, also costing $17 million, will concentrate on constructing a school for 6th to 8th graders.
Jennifer Gordon, the Executive Director for Growth and Opportunities at Helix Community Schools, divulged, “Helix A.I. and medical will begin as a K through 5th-grade school, accommodating 100 students in each grade level. So, we’re starting off with a population of six hundred students.”
Opelousas Mayor Julius Alsandor hailed the charter school as a significant boost to the local economy, with the potential to enhance education, attract new businesses, and increase the city’s population. “Those who were thinking about leaving should reconsider,” he urged. “This is a massive win-win for everyone involved.”
The funding for this new charter school will come at no extra cost to taxpayers. Private donors and grants will provide the financial support needed to bring this vision to life. Gordon expressed her excitement, stating, “It’s an entirely new concept, and I believe we’re creating countless opportunities for students that most communities could only dream of.”
The Helix Artificial Intelligence and Medical Academy will be the fourth school within the Helix Community Network in Louisiana. This state-of-the-art public charter school will feature 26 classrooms, open lab classrooms, and an impressive athletic compound. Castille revealed the school’s plans to expand in the future, adding middle and high school programs.
“Our goal is to introduce something innovative and cutting-edge, preparing our children for the future,” Castille emphasized. “We want to equip them not just for the jobs we anticipate, but for the jobs they will help create.”
Groundbreaking for the school is set to take place sometime in 2024, with its doors expected to open to the public in 2025. It’s an exciting time for Opelousas, and the future is looking incredibly bright.