USS Orleck's future plans in Lake Charles

By Jason Belk - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The arrival of the USS Orleck last Thursday was quite a sight for the many who helped bring it to Lake Charles.

"I almost broke down when it came into the lake, it was awesome," said Sherwood Buckalew, the ship's curator.

But now that the ship has made it here, what's next for it?

"She sat idle for five years, so we have a layer of dust we'll have to clean up. The initial work will not be glorious, it's not going to be fancy, it's going to be scrubbing clean," said Buckalew.

For the next six months the Orleck will be at it's dock at the end of Enterprise Blvd. for work to be done on it. At the end of that period they hope to have it open for about a year as a public exhibit.

Then they hope to have to have the city approve a vote that will move it to a new spot on the lake.

"It would go before the city for a vote amongst the citizens of Lake Charles to be able to put this on the lake front. We hope that by that time they will have come out and enjoyed the facilities and realized it will be an asset to the city," said Mark Boudreaux, the President of the USS Orleck Naval Museum.

The end goal for all involved with the Orleck is for the ship to become an attraction for people from all over to come to Lake Charles.

"There will be plenty of reasons why anybody that has anything to do with the Navy or the military would want to drive to Lake Charles, grab a hotel room, and spend money in the communities," said Boudreaux.

For a ship that has been as far away as Turkey, those who helped bring it here, hope that it's final resting spot will be here in Lake Charles.

If you are interested in assisting with the renovation of the USS Orleck, click on the link below:

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