Plans still in works for U.S.S. Orleck to leave Lake Area

Updated: Oct. 24, 2019 at 3:32 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The U.S.S. Orleck has been in Lake Charles since 2010 serving as a museum, a laser tag venue, even a haunted ship. But over the summer it was announced the ship would be leaving the city.

“It has a 74- almost 75-year history dating back to the end of WWII,” said Director Ron Williams.

The Orleck will soon travel to another part of the country. Williams is in talks with the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association.

“I have a ship and no dock and you have a dock and no ship, let’s talk," Williams said. "They were very interested, they came over and looked at it and they liked what they saw.”

It’s all because the Orleck has not been able to find a permanent spot in Lake Charles, for several reasons.

Williams believes the Jacksonville destination is prime real estate.

“That is where I-10 and I-95 come together, so that is massive, massive, massive traffic," Williams said. "And, it’s also next to the Jaguar’s stadium.”

The transfer would take about $2 million to complete but officials in Jacksonville are expected to meet this week in the hopes of finalizing the deal.

“They’re all trying to do their due diligence, trying to answer any and all questions that need to be addressed about doing this and what it would bring to that community,” Williams said.

Williams believes the ship could be purchased by the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association in the next 30 to 45 days.

“Time is running out, you need to come and see us, you need to come and visit us and bring the kids out," Williams said. "We would love to show you the ship.”

While it’s tough to lose such a piece of history, Williams believes the move is for the best.

“To those of us involved with the ship, it’s better to save it for future generations somewhere than to save it in Lake Charles,” he said.

Williams says he and a few of the other Orleck volunteers plan to travel to Jacksonville and help get the museum up and running again.

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