Marlin Giacona, Director of the Methodist Children's Home of Greater New Orleans speaks to the Tangipahoa Council members.
Marlin Giacona, Program Director of the Methodist Children’s Home of Greater New Orleans speaks to the Tangipahoa Council members.

May 30, 2016   Ruston, LA – Louisiana United Methodist Children and Family Services is pleased to announce that construction on a new, permanent location for Methodist Children’s Home of Greater New Orleans can begin.

An ordinance of the Tangipahoa Parish Council was passed Monday, May 23, 2016, approving the initial construction permit for Methodist Children’s Home of Greater New Orleans four miles north of the Hwy 445/Hwy 190 intersection. Phase one of the project will commence and will include 3 residential houses, an administration building, a chapel, classrooms, dining hall and a barn. Additionally, construction of an Outdoor Wilderness Learning Center will begin.

Luke Allen, Vice President of Operations for LUMCFS says that architect E. J. Ellender has drawn up plans and will likely be contacting local engineers about participating in the project. The architect and engineers will solicit the bids for the construction.

Rick Wheat, President and CEO, stated that the new home will serve between 18 and 24 children aged 11 and younger who have suffered severe trauma, neglect or abuse.  Wheat also said he expects the home will have a staff of nearly 100 and will be ready in approximately 2-3 years. “We are excited and thankful to have the approval to proceed with construction, along with the support of the people of Tangipahoa Parish. Now we can focus on building a facility which we know will be instrumental in providing care for youth and families in the southeast part of our state.”