Temporary welcome center design approved for USS Orleck in Jacksonville, Fl

Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 9:24 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A design has been approved for a temporary welcome center for the USS Orleck Naval Museum in Jacksonville, Florida.

The structure, which will be located off Pier 1 at the city-owned shipyard, was approved by the Downtown Development Review Board (DDRB) of Jacksonville.

On Nov 12, the DDRB voted in favor of the 90-by-50-foot building for the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association’s warship museum.

Removable landscaping, a ramp connecting the building to the Downtown Northbank Riverwalk, and a brick walkway from Catherine Street are all included in the design.

In January, the Naval Ship Association was asked by the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) to design a temporary structure, due to the interest shown by other developers' in the site.

In three years, the non-profit must ask for approval from the board on designs for a permanent center or for an extension of the temporary building.

The USS Orleck will be towed from Lake Charles to Jacksonville by the Naval Ship Association. However, it is not known when.

A one-year development agreement was approved by the DIA, but the City Council still needs to approve the deal before the ship can dock downtown and the supporting facility is built. The DIA has not yet filed legislation supporting that agreement.

DIA staff can negotiate a 10-year licensing agreement with two five-year renewal options to dock the USS Orleck in the St. Johns River.

Once regulatory is approved, the warship has a process to complete before it can dock in Jacksonville. The ship will need to undergo an inspection hull maintenance, basic repairs, and painting in a Texas shipyard.

A total of $2.65 million is expected to be spent for the operations and to move the ship.

For more information or to view the welcome center design, visit the Jacksonville Daily Record.

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