Wildlife & Fisheries office in Lafayette christened
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries christened its Lafayette Regional Office Complex on Tuesday in a ribbon cutting ceremony. The office, located at 200 Dulles Drive, was purchased in April of 2018 for $6 million to give LDWF a one-stop south central Louisiana hub in which to conduct business.
Gov. John Bel Edwards said, “This building is going to be beneficial for Lafayette Parish, the Acadiana region and the entire state.”
The 73,000 square foot two-story facility is located on five acres of property with an additional five-acre site. It has 62,500 feet of office space and a 10,500 square foot atrium featuring Louisiana flora. LDWF occupies 31,250 square feet of office space in the facility, representing each segment of the LDWF workforce.
Jack Montoucet, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, said, “When I first became secretary, one of the things I noticed was that some of our facilities were outdated. They needed expensive repairs that, in reality, would be no more than kicking the can down the road. We started looking around for a site in the Lafayette area to address those concerns and this location came to our attention. When we saw it we all said, ‘Wow, this is it.’ We had to have it. We couldn’t be more pleased with this facility and how it addresses our needs.’’
LDWF purchased the building looking toward the present and future and with an eye on convenience for LDWF customers and user groups.
The building has allowed the department to combine four offices, two of which were aging, from the south central Louisiana area into one easily accessible location.
The move also allowed consolidation of two LDWF Inland Fisheries’ offices and one Marine Fisheries’ office into a single location.
The building is located minutes from Interstates 10 and 49, making it easier for the state’s outdoorswomen and men in the southwest and central portion of Louisiana to conduct business. The location also is a plus for LDWF’s Enforcement Division. It will allow LDWF agents to move equipment quickly and efficiently throughout the state, reducing response times for rescue operations.
The move also allowed consolidation of two LDWF Inland Fisheries’ offices and one Marine Fisheries’ office into a single location. The department was able to consolidate equipment and supplies into one office leading to expenditure savings.
The vacant area adjacent to the building will be a site for a boat storage space and a state-of-the-art lab.
The modern facility, along with technology upgrades, makes communications more reliable than at the previous locations.
“We looked into how this building could improve our staff’s working conditions,’’ Montoucet said. “How we fold several locations into one and move dozens of people and equipment into one site, have a strategic location for disaster response while actually saving money in the long run. This Lafayette site was the perfect spot and that is evident every day.’’
Several tenants are leasing available space in the building to help defray the cost of upkeep on the facility. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Louisiana Department of Revenue, the state Office of Technology Servies and the WHT, LLC investment company are occupying offices there with the State Fire Marshall in discussion to locate there.