Stephen R. Mullen, Pecoraro, Jr., James E., ttoombs | 11/1/2007 1:55:52 AM
After more than two years of sharing office space with employees in Jefferson, St. Charles and other parishes, nearly 20 LSU AgCenter employees from Orleans Parish will soon be back working from their own office.
Three new FEMA trailers delivered to the USDA-ARS building on Robert E. Lee Blvd. in New Orleans Oct. 25 will be the new home for the LSU AgCenter’s Orleans Parish office.
The former parish office, which was located at Jackson Barracks in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
Dr. Steve Mullen, the AgCenter’s regional director for the Crescent Region, said these trailers will be the temporary location for the Orleans office for hopefully no longer than 18 months.
He said positives and negatives have been associated with the cramped working conditions of the past two years.
"I guess the biggest problem has been having people almost coming out of the woodwork. But on the positive side, we’ve been able to do some joint projects that we didn’t have the manpower to tackle before," he said, adding, "But it’s time to have a full-time presence back in New Orleans."
Terry Tombs, an Orleans Parish family and consumer science agent with the LSU AgCenter, said it will be good for the staff to once again have their own office to come to every morning.
"I think it will be good for staff cohesiveness as well as make it easier to reach the people of Orleans Parish. Right now, there’s a lot of time spent traveling from Jefferson to Orleans and back," she said.
Jimmy Pecoraro, construction manager with the LSU AgCenter facilities planning office, said the trailers were obtained through FEMA and should be ready for setup in two to four weeks.
"For now, we will park them on this lot because it’s too wet to park them on the setup location, and we have some site prep work to do before that can happen," he said.
Mullen said, "Once the offices are set up, there will be an open house where city officials and others will be invited to come out and see that we are back and ready to serve."
For additional information on the services provided by the LSU AgCenter visit the Web site at www.lsuagcenter.com.
Steve Mullen at (504) 838-1170 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Toombs at (504) 838-1170 or email@example.com
Jimmy Pecoraro at (225) 578-6096 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Johnny Morgan at (225) 578-8484 or email@example.com