Parkview Baptist School has purchased the former Laser Tag of Baton Rouge building to convert it into a fine arts space, performance center, and self-paced learning studio.
The Parkview Baptist Church Foundation purchased the building at 5871 S. Sherwood Forest Boulevard for $1.95 million in a deal that closed two weeks ago. The building, which is near the Parkview campus at Airline Highway and Old Jefferson, is just over 22,000 square feet and sits on 1.7 acres.
A $2 million donation from the family of Art Favre, founder of Performance Contractors, covered the cost of the purchase, says Don Mayes, superintendent of Parkview Baptist. Mayes called the purchase “a dream come true.” “We always wanted a performing arts space and we had our eye on that building for a couple of years,” Mayes says.
The building will also be used for a variety of school events, such as sports banquets or homecoming.
Parkview will use part of the building as a digital learning studio when classes resume in August. For several years, the school has operated a flex program that allows students to learn at their own pace. Students receive their curriculum online, have an academic coach, and receive support and grading from content area specialists. Fifty students are currently in the program and the purchase of the building will allow Parkview to expand it to another 300 over the next few years.
“All of the party rooms will become learning studios,” Mayes says. “We’re finding through the shutdown that students like learning this way, at their own pace.” Some of the Laser Tag arcade games are being kept, which will give students a chance to play air hockey or Donkey Kong between lessons.
The Laser Tag renovation is part of a $7 million “The Blessing” capital campaign Parkview recently announced. The campaign includes a $3.8 million expansion of the school cafeteria and a renovation of the middle school gym. The campaign has raised nearly $4.9 million to date.