The weekend’s “Top Story” in the Hammond Daily Star is a great article about the beginning of Phase II construction… Read More
I want to bring you up to date on our search for property on which to build a permanent location for Methodist Home for Children of Greater New Orleans. I also want to share a graphic which offers an imagined view of how the property we acquire may be developed over time.
Today, we await the results of wetland assessments on two different potential properties. I’ve learned a person cannot walk a piece of land and have a real clue about the percentage that is wetlands. Earlier, I thought wetlands were determined by the plant life. That’s part of it, but it also requires a study of soil samples. We should have the results of these two properties by the end of this week.
Regarding the future, what we intend to do in the region is bring the best we’ve done across Louisiana to the New Orleans district. We want to duplicate the best of our intensive residential services in Ruston and Sulphur, combine it with the best of our work at the OWL Center, and add a base of operations for our regional home and community-based services.
Here’s a mockup of satellite images that demonstrates how we intend to combine the best of our residential services with the best of our experiential services on a single, 80 acre property.
The left side is a photo of our Ruston campus. It began with a single building more than 100 years ago and has grown to 17 buildings. Among them are the residences, a chapel and training center, a school, an administration building, a gymnasium, a clinic, a maintenance building, central supply, a swimming pool, and the votech/career center. (Remember, it took 100 years to grow from one building to what we have today.) Once we have property, we will first construct a building similar to what we recently built on 40 acres in Sulphur as Methodist Children’s Home of Southwest Louisiana. The left side of the photo is residential.
The right side of the image is experiential with the best of our 800 acres OWL Center condensed to 40 acres. It includes the equine program, a pond for fishing and canoeing, the green houses and orchard, the conference center, a family lodge where families stay when visiting their children, the maze, a softball field, a sand volley ball court, an archery range, the pavilion, and the challenge course.
We are excited about taking the best of what we offer children and families in Louisiana and putting it together in the most populous area of our state! We are working to create a regional foundation for continuous ministry to children and families where ministry is needed. No one can predict how our ministry in the region will develop during the next 100 years. However, we know this: we are committed to the pursuit of our mission in the greater New Orleans area.
Rick Wheat, President and Chief Executive Officer
Louisiana United Methodist Children and Family Services