SJA honors Alacks with new library

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 1, 2000

ERIK SANZENBACH / L’Observateur / March 1, 2000

LAPLACE – Students of St. Joan of Arc School are enjoying more literatureand are able to surf the web thanks to a major expansion of the school library.

The expansion came from the generous donations and gifts of a community which wanted to pay homage to a great teacher and her family.

In 1996 Mary Bourgeois Alack, a former teacher at St. Joan of Arc and OurLady of Grace, and at the time a teacher at Sacred Heart in Norco, was driving her two children, Kimberly and Nicholas, to St. Joan of Arc for thefirst day of school. A freak traffic accident occurred and the three familymembers were killed.

A fund was set up in memory of Mary, Kimberly and Nicholas. Sacred HeartSchool built a prayer garden with the proceeds, and St. Joan of Arc expandedits library.

“The original size of the library was that of a normal classroom,” explained St. Joan of Arc principal Larry Bourgeois. “We were able to knock out a walland double the space of the library.”The school was also able to computerize its card system and buy several personal computers so students could do research on the internet.

The money from the fund also made it possible to build a new circulation desk, add central air, (which was installed by the school’s maintenance department), add a lot more shelving and increase the number of books to over 11,000 volumes.

“There was a very generous outpouring of support,” said Bourgeois.

There were several corporate donations from the Hibernia Bank, Wal-Mart, the Keller family and the Coca-Cola bottling plant.

However, work on the library is not finished. There is a phase two that is tobe started in the summer, and St. Joan of Arc still needs the help of thecommunity.

Bourgeois said people can still donate either money or by buying certain books for the library and have their names placed in the front of the book.

“For my birthday,” explained Bourgeois, “the faculty collected over $600 and donated it to the library in my name.”To help raise money for phase two of the library construction, St. Joan ofArc will be holding a golf tournament on May 15. The Frank Sarcone SJAClassic will be held at the Riverlands Country Club, and all golfers are urged to sign up. For more information, call the school at 652-6310 or HelenBanquer at the Development Office at 652-0091.

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