LORANGER--The new 126-acre children’s home now under construction by Louisiana United Methodist Family and Children’s Services (LUMFCS) in Loranger in Tangipahoa Parish has transitioned to phase two of major construction, creating a $129 million economic impact over the next ten years with the majority of the benefits flowing into Tangipahoa Parish.
LUMCFS purchased the acreage in Loranger, north of Interstate 12, and broke ground with the organization’s leaders in April 2019.
A $2 million grounds preparation phase was recently completed on the campus, and a new $7.5 million construction contract has been awarded to Frank A. Anzalone General Contractor, for phase two construction of the new buildings. LUMCFS plans future construction in additional phases.
LUMCFS is a non-profit organization dedicated to children’s health and well-being. The new Methodist Children’s Home of Southeast Louisiana and Greater New Orleans (MCHSELA) will serve children throughout Louisiana who need intense therapeutic care. The organization, known for its extensive and specialized work with abused, neglected, and homeless children, has similar facilities in Ruston, Sulphur and Mandeville. The new Tangipahoa campus will replace the Mandeville facility. The organization also provides counseling and training for therapeutic foster families and assists with skills training for older teens as well.
A report by Dr. C. Patrick Scott, an economist and Louisiana Tech University professor, released today by LUMFCS noted a total estimated economic impact of the construction of the new facilities, the capital expenditure, and one year of labor cost will be nearly $30 million, based on 289 construction jobs with an estimated labor income of $11.1 million. The new campus and facilities are estimated to generate an additional $858,324 in tax revenue at the state and local levels and nearly $2 million in federal tax revenue. (This is for both Phase I and Phase II combined.)
The economic impact report also included projections of the new facilities overall impact over the next ten years. The report noted a $129 million impact over the next decade, with more than $109 million benefiting Tangipahoa Parish. With LUMFCS’s new facility Tangipahoa’s parish, town, and special local taxing districts can be expected to gain revenues of $1.2 million of the tax total. Additionally, the facility is expected to generate $2.6 million in statewide tax revenue and $8.2 million in federal tax revenue over the decade.
Hammond-based contractor, Anzalone Construction, was awarded the phase II building contract, including a children’s dormitory, cafeteria, classrooms, playground, administrative building, and a clinic. Anzalone Construction also performed the site preparation work during phase I. Besides supporting construction jobs, the new facility will create permanent positions including social workers, psychological specialists, counselors, recreational therapists, maintenance and support staff.
According to LUMCFS President and CEO Rick Wheat, “We are excited to be neighbors with the citizens of Tangipahoa and thank them for their gracious welcome to the region. Our new Home in Tangipahoa is at the crossroads of the entire southeast Louisiana region. We are strategically located within easy driving distance from New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Hundreds of families, volunteers, and children’s advocacy organizations work collaboratively with LUMCFS in our mission and will utilize the new facility campus as well.”
In the future, LUMCFS will include a Methodist Foster Care and Life Skills Training facility, a chapel, an equine therapeutic center, cottages and a south Louisiana version of the Outdoor Wilderness Learning (OWL) Center in Ruston. The OWL Center has been widely recognized for its educational and therapeutic environment for children. “We intend to build a recreational haven for these children so they are enhanced by the outdoors, an equine therapy program, and other developmental outdoor programming,” he added.
“We welcome the opportunity to present our story of success to the people of southeast Louisiana,” added Patrick Blanchard, Director of Development and Public Relations, recognizing that LUMFCS is currently continuing to raise funds for the new facility. “Children come to us from many avenues, many from families that cannot care for them, or those who have been affected by trauma, and we enhance their lives through therapy, education, enrichment and by building trust,” he noted.
To contact the organization, go to lumcfs.org.