Helix A.I. is a New Public Charter School coming to Opelousas, LA

Oct 11, 2023

Designed by GHC

By: Paris Flannigan
Posted at 7:02 PM, Oct 06, 2023 and last updated 7:02 PM, Oct 06, 2023

Opelousas, LA: Opelousas continues to boom with local and corporate businesses, and now it will be home to the new public charter school, Helix Artificial Intelligence and Medical Academy.

"As a result, we will see lots of growth," said Preston Castille, President of Helix Schools.

The new school will be built next door to Our Saviors Church off of I-49, where business is beginning to boom. The area is popular with several car dealerships, a new subdivision, healthcare facilities, and of course, the newly built Love's Travel Stop.

Castille says it's the perfect area for an A.I. and medical facility.

" The A.I. industry is forming every day as we speak. It's changing, and when you couple A. I and medical together, it's phenomenal. It's an industry that has blown up," said Castille.

Castille also says the new development will bring jobs and career opportunities to the area.

" We will look to Opelousas and say this is where we can find the intellectual talent to fund our businesses and industry in the A.I. and healthcare space. It will be huge for Opelousas in General, particularly for the economy in Opelousas," said Castille.

The St. Landry Parish School Board unanimously approved a $34 million project in two phases. The first phase, costing $17 million, including land acquisition, will prioritize building a school for K-5th grade students. The second phase, costing $17 million, will focus on constructing a school for 6th-8th graders.

" Helix A. I and medical will start as a K through 5th-grade school with 100 students in each grade level, so that will start with a population of six hundred students," said Jennifer Gordon, Executive Director for Growth and Opportunities at Helix Community Schools.

Opelousas Mayor Julius Alsandor said the addition of the charter school will impact our economy significantly and have the ability to sustain education, attract new businesses, and increase the city population.

" Those who are thinking about leaving should stay. I think this is huge for all of us and will be a win-win for everybody," said Castille.

The funding for the new charter school will come at no additional cost for taxpayers. The funding will come from private donors and grants.

"It's so different and so new, and I think we will create so many opportunities for students that most communities never had before," said Gordon.

This will be the 4th school under the Helix Community Network in the state. The new public charter school will be state-of-the-art, featuring 26 classrooms, open lab classrooms, and an athletic compound.

Castille says the school will eventually expand, adding middle and high schools.

" To bring something innovative that is on the forefront of technology so that our children are prepared for the future, not just jobs we think will exist but the jobs that they will help create," said Castille.

The school will break ground sometime in 2024 and open its doors to the public in 2025.