In early 2006, Our Lady of Lourdes President and CEO Bud Barrow confirmed his interest in the Boustany family property on Ambassador Caffery Parkway near Verot School Road (""Healthy Moves," April 26). Now real estate sources say the local not-for-profit hospital has 45 acres under contract for about $14 million. Owned by two Boustany family members, the 45-acre tract extends from Frem Boustany Drive down Ambassador Caffery Parkway toward Verot School Road. The property is across from Home Bank.
Barrow could not be reached for comment last week, but Lourdes spokesman Berch Stelly released the following statement: "We can confirm that we are engaged in negotiations for the acquisition of property for Our Lady of Lourdes and are presently undergoing an approval process in order to secure that property. However, we must allow this approval process to take its course, before we can publicly comment on specifics such as the location and cost of the property. We are extremely hopeful that we can make such an announcement in the very near future."
In The Independent Weekly's April story, Barrow anticipated making the announcement before the end of 2006. "If there's one thing Lourdes has been guilty of is to spend a lot of time talking. I think by the fall we'll be prepared to make significant announcements, statements of commitment," he said.
At that time, Barrow confirmed that Lourdes would likely be relocating some services from its existing site at the corner of St. Landry and St. Mary streets, but the administrator stopped short of saying Lourdes would abandon the 57-year-old facility altogether. "I'm not sure we'll ever disembark completely from here," Barrow said. "Right now Lafayette has a 20th century model of health care, [and] 20th century models are doomed to fail. We're looking to build a 21st century model â?¦ [which means] all roads should not lead to one campus."
The administrator continued, "Specialty and focused-service facilities can be built in areas close to the consumer, often with quick access and convenience not often associated with large institutions." Because of their small size, these facilities can more easily adapt to technological and market changes, he said.
Should Lourdes relocate most of its services to Ambassador Caffery Parkway, it will be well-positioned to take advantage of that corridor's growth and expanding population. Plans call for Ambassador Caffery Parkway to be extended south to U.S. Highway 90, opening up a large portion of previously undeveloped real estate. Lourdes would likely attract business from all of south Lafayette Parish as well as Iberia and St. Martin parishes.
Barrow has been quick to dispel speculation that Lourdes would be downsizing. "I don't think we're talking about building a smaller organization. I cannot envision any major services, or minor ones, that we intend to eliminate," he said. ' Leslie Turk
PIERRE STAYING PUT
Addressing persistent rumors that he is planning to step down from the state Legislature for a lobbying position with Marathon Oil, Lafayette Rep. Wilfred Pierre says he is finishing out his term, which expires at the end of 2007. Pierre confirms he was in talks with Marathon about a lobbying job but says state ethics law prevents any state representative or senator from lobbying the Legislature for two years after leaving office. However, there are no restrictions on former legislators lobbying the administration.
"That's been resolved," Pierre says. "[Marathon] decided to go another course because it would be difficult to hire me being that I could not lobby the Legislature for two years."
Pierre, who is prevented by term limits from seeking re-election next year, says he is weighing multiple options for his post-legislative career.
"It's kind of premature to say right now. I have many good options, and I don't know what direction I'll go in right now. I have a year, and a lot could happen. But I intend to serve the remainder of my term." ' Nathan Stubbs
WHO WANTS TO BE A COUNCILMAN?
Wanted: thick-skinned loquacious persons able to work late on Tuesday nights. People skills, kissing babies, a plus. Must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of Lafayette Parish for at least one year. No education/degree required. Annual pay of $22,791 plus some expenses.
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