Diocese of Lake Charles buys former Safety Council building for $3.3 million

Published: May. 5, 2023 at 7:11 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Diocese of Lake Charles has purchased the former Safety Council building on Ryan Street to consolidate various offices scattered around the area. Diocesan leaders say the $3.3 million price tag is a bargain.

The diocese is getting a new headquarters, or chancery, as they call it.

Rev. Jeffrey Starkovich said the cost to buy and do minor renovations is less than new construction, estimated at $15 million, or repairing structures, at $6 million.

“Purchase price with renovations that the Diocese expects to need came in at only $3.3 million dollars, a savings of 75 percent versus building something new. So, everyone who the diocese consulted agreed it was the most cost-effective option to continue to be good stewards for ministry in the diocese,” he said.

Rev. Joseph Caraway is the director of consolidation for the diocese. He said there are many benefits to getting everyone in the same building.

“I’m going to be communicating with all the different offices and departments in the diocese and bringing them all together under one roof, which is an exciting task. I’m looking forward to it. As the church, we want to bring people together, build relationships and this is an opportunity where I can bring these offices and people together for the ministry of the church,” he said.

Hurricane repairs are not finished in churches and schools, such as St. Louis High School, where students use temporary buildings. But officials said no storm recovery money is going for the new building.

Church officials told us the building at 1201 Ryan St. will provide 19,000 square feet, which is more than three times the space at existing buildings.

Diocesan officials said the new location for the various offices is effective July 1. The Diocese has set up a “hub” on their website with more details about the building and move.