LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL News) - In a bid to expand its health sciences offerings and "for advancing health care in our region," the University of Louisiana and Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center have finalized a land purchase deal for the land adjacent to the hospital.

A map of the property adjacent to Our Laday of Lourdes Regional Medical Center recently purchased by the University of Louisiana.
Credit: University of Louisiana

The university plans to use the land as a means of uniting its main campus with University Research Park and its athletic complex, which has been a longtime goal.

The agreement between the University and Lourdes was finalized at the end of February, and the $9 million cash sale includes buildings and four properties, the University announced on Friday.

  • 17.305 undeveloped acres at the corner of St. Landry and St. Julien streets.
  • Slightly over 1 acre on St. Louis Street that’s the site of a parking garage.
  • A .720-acre tract at St. Landry and St. Julien streets containing a parking lot.
  • A .196-acre lot at St. Landry and St. Thomas streets with an office building.

“In 1949, Bishop Jeanmard called the new Lourdes hospital ‘a great blessing to fill the long felt need in Lafayette,'" Donna Landry, Our Lady of Lourdes’ chief operating officer, said. "Today, those sentiments continue to resonate knowing our legacy campus will be a place where generations of future nurses and other health professionals come to train.  We are honored to be part of this blessing for Acadiana."

Landry also noted that the property “carries a legacy of service to the region that will continue under the University’s stewardship.”

Our Lady of Lourdes
Credit: Our Lady of Lourdes

It's not the first major land purchase the university has made from Lourdes. In June of last year, another purchase brought in roughly six acres.

This 19.2-acre acquisition from Lourdes is separate from an additional purchase UL Lafayette finalized in June of last year. That agreement – between the University and the Diocese of Lafayette – was for 5.834 acres at West St. Mary Boulevard and St. Landry Street.
This tract contains medical office buildings and other facilities that were part of the Lourdes hospital complex. They will form the nucleus of the University’s new health sciences campus. UL Lafayette has begun renovations in one of the structures, the St. Francis Building; some upper-level students enrolled in the College of Nursing & Health Sciences are anticipated to take classes there starting in the fall semester.
Savoie noted that the two acquisitions increase the size of UL Lafayette’s campus by more than 25 acres; over 23 of those acres – from West St. Mary Boulevard to St. Julien Street – are contiguous. “The possibilities these acres hold are extraordinary,” he said, and enable the University to pursue multiple objectives.

University of Louisiana Lafayette
Credit: University of Louisiana

According to Savoie, the property will be used to expand the health sciences programs the university offers. The goals include:

  • Enrolling and graduating more nursing and health sciences students.
  • Expanding degree programs.
  • Enhancing existing partnerships with health providers.
  • Building new partnerships.
  • Creating collaborations with professional schools and health systems.
  • Deepening relationships with biomedical and biopharmaceutical firms.

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