Residents forced to move out as new training facility moves in - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Residents forced to move out as new training facility moves in


It's the price of progress. Some Lake Charles residents will have to leave their homes to make way for a new training center near SOWELA.

Now some residents will be packing their bags.

As more companies come to Southwest Louisiana, it's ideal to have skilled workers.

The Chennault Mobile Village near Chennault International Airport and across the street from SOWELA, will soon house a new $20-million training facility.

But not everyone is comfortable with it.

Resident Karl Vars just moved to the mobile home community two years ago. He said the plans for the new facility is tough to deal with because it came as a surprise to both he and his neighbors.

"They all pretty well know. The manager gave us a notice that you know, things are fixing to happen and that we should be making plans," Vars said.

The 13-acre piece of property of the Chennault Mobile Village will soon be the new home of the training facility, forcing the residents to move.

"Anytime you got to move, it's kind of stressful. A lot of people here's more up in age, I think, and it's just difficult you know? You got to move to a different place," Vars said.

The city, parish and Chennault agreed to partner up to purchase the property for a total of $1.7-million. The state will then take over the property to build the training facility that SOWELA will operate.

But as far as the residents of the Chennault Mobile Village are concerned, Executive Director of Chennault International Airport Authority Randy Robb said he expects it to be a smooth transition.

"We're working with several agencies including the Silver Lining Foundation to find places to relocate these guys without a lot or any out of pocket expense for the people there. Again, our goal is not to have anybody suffer. It's to make this a win-win for the entire community, including the folks that are currently residents of the trailer park," Robb said.

And even though Vars and everyone else in the Chennault Mobile Village have to move, he understands the good that will come of this new facility.

"It's the best thing in the world," Vars said. "It's got two sides to it. It's going to benefit a lot of people."

Staying positive as business moves in and neighbors move out.

Robb said while there's no moving date set in stone, he expects it to be in at least 90 days.

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