GRAMBLING, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The City of Grambling is looking to take legal action against Grambling State University for the school’s plan to have security barriers around the campus. Although the City of Grambling desires to see the violence on campus stop, they are not pleased with the University making plans to block at least one city street and a state highway without consulting with them. The blockage will potentially occur from Interstate 20 to U.S. Highway 80.
“I have never received such blatant disrespect for our city. We have not had any communication from the university ever,” Grambling Mayor Ed Jones said. According to Jones, he is concerned about how alternative transportation routes can affect businesses, residents who live in the area, and emergency first-response times which can increase from approximately 5 minutes to 15 minutes.
According to the University, they have been granted the necessary approvals for the design and planning phase for the security barriers. However, Mayor Jones mentioned the communication between the City of Grambling and Grambling State University’s President Rick Gallot has been nonexistent since Gallot took office in the Summer of 2016.
Earlier this month, the University’s request received approval from the University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors to add the $18 million barrier project to its five-year capital outlay plan. According to President Gallot, the barrier has been in development for more than a year.
The barrier can also potentially fence off part of Central Avenue and R.W.E. Jones Drive (US Highway 149). According to city officials, R.W.E. Jones Drive is the only street that can accommodate 18-wheelers coming off of the interstate. Although the University has approached the parish about paving Central Avenue, Central Avenue still belongs to the city as of now.
“They are doing this without any regard to the city. We’re going to address it through legal means,” Mayor Jones said. Mayor Jones plans to meet with city attorneys soon about suing the University. He also desires to have a town meeting to get the resident’s input on the matter.