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LCG and LGMC having "confidential" contact over Heymann Center

Posted at 2:03 PM, Sep 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 15:03:27-04

The Lafayette Public Works department gathered a lot of detailed information about the Heymann Performing Arts Center last month, in response to a request from Lafayette General Health.

Emails, first reported by The Advertiser here, indicate the Public Works Director's secretary gathered a lot of information about the center, its property and facilities, in a series of emails marked "Confidential."

KATC Investigates obtained the emails. Among the information she obtained was:

  • Any leases impacting the property
  • Approximate age of building
  • Are any repair issues or code deficiencies present at this time? If applicable, what are they and what are their anticipated costs
  • Number of chillers and their capacities and age(s)
  • Generator capacity and fuel source, and details about it.
  • Copies of any easements or other restrictions, contracts or declarations, special assessments, ordinances or other items of a similar nature that may impact the property.
  • Contact information to gain entry to the property.
  • Survey of the site.
  • Site plan showing parking area.
  • Any environmental, engineering, appraisals, or other reports recently been prepared on the property

The Heymann Center is located next door to Lafayette General Medical Center; LGMC's other neighbors are Oil Center offices and shops, and neighborhoods. In recent years, LGMC has expanded its facilities by remodeling existing buildings in the Oil Center, but available space for expansion is very limited.

LGH officials say the request was aimed at obtaining an appraisal of the property, to be used in Lafayette General's future planning.

"We contacted Lafayette Consolidated Government about two months ago to have the Heymann Performing Arts Center appraised. The appraisal has not been completed, and was only requested for planning purposes. It is part of our comprehensive analysis of a variety of properties because of the anticipated growth that we will experience over the next decade," said Patricia Thompson, spokeswoman for LGH. "We are exploring options for long-term planning, but no decisions have been made. Lafayette General is a patron of the arts and will not make any decisions that negatively impact the arts community. We understand the significance of the Heymann Center and would seek to honor and preserve its history."

The Guillory administration maintains that there is no "active discussion" to sell the property. Since he took office, Guillory has singled out certain aspects of city services - recreation and museums, for instance - and labeled them as "subsidized" if they don't generate the funds needed to pay for operations and maintenance. The Heymann Center has been included in that list of labeled city assets.

“We’ve said from the beginning that we were open to looking at different options for the sustainability of the Heymann Performing Arts and Convention Center. At this point, there are no active discussions about a sale of the facility," said LCG spokesman Jamie Angelle.