Lafayette and the UL Lafayette are working on a land swap that will provide space for a new fire station along Cajundome Boulevard.
Fire Chief Robert Benoit says that the university is willing to make the swap. It is something the City of Lafayette and UL Lafayette have been working on for the past 4 years.
"The university board has agreed that they're willing to make that swap. We agree on the city side that the location that we are looking at is something that is going to be feasible for us to use because it's going to give us the opportunity to expand this station. Grow it twice the size that it is right now to accommodate our needs now and in the future up to the next 60 years. So that is where we are," he said.
Now, Benoit says they have to wait until LCG and UL Lafayette can get together to finalize the process.
"That's what is taking place right now. We are just waiting for the two agencies to get together and say let's continue this process."
Chief Benoit says the land that is being looked at it on Cajundome Blvd and Blackham Coliseum going towards St. Landry Street near the walking path in the area. The placement, Benoit says is a good spot for them. UL would receive the land where Fire Station No. 5 now sits.
Benoit says that once UL gets clearance, legal teams with both the university and LCG will draft up something to bring to the council. The council would then need to authorize an order approving the swap and building of the new fire station.
If approved, Benoit says that the building process for the new station can begin. It would take about two years to complete.
"It is easier to build a building than it is to tear it down," he said. "Anytime you build a fire station, it takes around two years to do that."
According to the Advocate, UL Lafayette spokesman Eric Maron said the exchange would be "hugely beneficial" to the city and campus. It fits with the city's intention to replace its older fire stations, the city said, and it fits within the UL Master Plan.
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