United States Sen. Mary Landrieu tried to visit the former site of St. Luke General Hospital in Arnaudville last month, after learning it could be the future site of a French immersion cultural center.
But, St. Landry Parish President, Bill Fontenot, says she was turned away. He says the hospital district's board president, Kenneth Quebedeaux would not let her enter, allegedly telling Fontenot, “forget about it.”
Fontenot says Quebedeaux didn't want Sen. Landrieu to see the building, because the board does not ever have plans to use the building as a French immersion cultural center and already has plans for a hospital related tenant.
“He said French immersion was not going to happen at that building; unequivocally,” says Fontenot.
Fontenot says he spoke on the phone with Quebedeux last month and found out his fight for the cultural center might have already been lost.
“They were considering a new tenant and they have not shared that information with anyone as to what tenant and what kind of business it is,” says Fontenot.
Fontenot says he knows the board is speaking with a potential hospital tenant because of legal restrictions for that hospital district.
“He said at this time he wasn't going to make that information known and it was none of my business and we didn't need to know anything about that as long as he's working with a potential hospital tenant,” says Fontenot.
KLFY reached out to Quebedeux on Tuesday, regarding the board's plans for the building, but he was reluctant to speak with us.
“No comment,” says Quebedeux.
The hospital district lays in both St. Martin and St. Landry parishes. St. Landry Parish has already voted to dissolve the hospital board, so Fontenot says he hopes St. Martin Parish constituents will continue to pressure their council to follow suit.