Permanent home for USS Orleck still in the works

USS Orleck Update

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The city of Lake Charles gave USS Orleck officials a November deadline to move the ship to a different location.

As of now, officials say the ship is in a different location, but it's still not a permanent place.

"I hope that within the year that we're on the lakefront," said Chairman of the Board of Directors Ronald Williams.

That's the dream location for board members and workers aboard the USS Orleck,  place where the ship can be seen from the I-10 bridge. The ship did move locations about a month ago.

"We had a minor move, but minor with a 390 foot ship is not minor," said Williams.

But that minor move was one pier away and still to a temporary location. Williams says there are improvements ship officials want to make to their temporary location, like the parking area, but he says that's not what their focus needs to be.

"We don't want to spend too much on our temporary berth here because we need to spend our time and attention on getting to the lake front," said Williams.

The city of Lake Charles gave ship officials until November 19th of this year to find a permanent location for the World War II destroyer, but Williams said that deadline won't be met.

"I don't see practically how it would happen unless things just really came together, like a miracle," said Williams.

But he said a new home for the ship is in the works.

"Our engineering drawings have been completed and given to the property owner," said Williams. "It's going to the corp of engineers next."

So where exactly will the Orleck be heading?

Holly: "The location that y'all are looking at, is it still the Isle of Capri in Westlake?
Ron: "We're under discussions with them. That's all I can really say."

Williams hopes to have the Orleck in it's new home before the year is over.

"We're moving forward," said Williams. "We're optimistic. We don't have any reason to think that it won't happen."

Williams does not for see the November 19th deadline being met, but he said city councilman Marshall Simien said the city would be willing to work with them.  

Williams will be attending the USS Orleck association reunion this weekend in Louisville, Kentucky. He will be meeting the nephew of the ship's namesake, Joseph Orleck, for the very first time.  

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