Council on Aging set to move into new $4.3 million building

Officials at the St. Charles Council on Aging (SCCOA) recently announced it is scheduled to take possession of its new $4.3 million, 11,437 square foot building in Luling this week.

Construction on the new building at 282 Judge Edward Dufresne Parkway first began on August 22 of last year. Once complete, the SCCOA’s new facility will soon house its Senior Citizens Activity Center, which currently operates at 145 Angus Drive. The SCCOA’s administrative offices, home delivered meal site, along with its transportation department will also be moved to the new building.

The organization’s transportation department is one of the group’s feature services, offering seniors “curb to curb service wherever [senior clients] need to go – whether it’s medical facilities, post office, banks, run errands, whatever,” April Keller, SCCOA Executive Director, said.

While supported by St. Charles Parish via a special millage, the SCCOA is a unique quasi-governmental nonprofit organization managed by its own board, administered separately from parish government. The organization is primarily designed to support St. Charles Parish senior citizens aged 60 and older, along with other qualified adult clients with disabilities who meet specific criteria for services.

The journey to get into their new facility has been a long one for the SCCOA, one the organization first started several years ago, when it last operated from its former Hahnville site.

“Before Ida, our office, transportation and home delivery meal site were located in Hahnville at the old elementary school on Pine Street,” Keller said. “We looked at renovating [the Hahnville site] because it was no longer ADA compliant, but to bring it up to standards would have cost around $1 million on a building we didn’t own.”

The SCCOA’s board made the decision to build a new facility, one it would own outright and could design for its own purposes. The SCCOA then bought a suitable tract of land on Edward Dufresne Parkway, hired an architect to design the new building, and began preparations to put the project out to bid. As August 29, 2021, approached, Mother Nature intervened with a massive storm most St. Charles Parish residents came to know all too well, changing the SCCOA’s plans entirely.

“Right around the time when we were [about] to put the bids out, Hurricane Ida came and wiped us out,” Keller said regarding the group’s former Hahnville location.

The SCCOA’s New Sarpy satellite senior citizen building had been given a recent upgrade prior to the storm, which involved adding area by closing in the building’s back patio. While not an ideal space size wise, it was the best option available at the time, and the SCCOA was forced to temporarily occupy the small New Sarpy location as its main hub. The SCCOA purchased “ribbon” tables from a local office supply company and set up its temporary administrative offices using makeshift desks throughout the New Sarpy’s main room.

“After we dusted ourselves off and started back up, then the bids went out the first time, and the bids were way too high,” Keller said, forcing the SCCOA to make floorplan adjustments, cutting out certain features of the new building to bring overall construction costs down.

Bids went out again once the floorplan was revised, and St. Charles Parish contractor Pintail Construction was selected as the winning bidder. Construction began on the new building last August, but the project later experienced a few unexpected setbacks.

“The first [completion] date was supposed to be June 5, but for different reasons we had to extend it,” Keller mentioned.

Keller said the SCCOA’s commercial contractors have been working long hours this summer, Monday thru Saturday, in order to complete the building in time for the new August 31 completion date.

Once the SCCOA occupies their new building, the group has plans to give its New Sarpy location a face lift before it opens that location back up to New Sarpy area senior citizens once again. The New Sarpy location will soon become a satellite activity center, where local area seniors can receive meals and participate in various activities.

The SCCOA will hold its first event, “Meet the Candidates,” in its new building on September 28 at 1:30 p.m. Organized as a political forum, senior citizen clients will be able to hear political speeches from various local candidates running for parish offices prior to the October election.

With its new building set to open shortly, Keller mentioned the SCCOA is currently hiring for multiple positions; the organization needs five home-delivered meal drivers, a maintenance worker, finance manager activities manager and center aide.

For more information on the SCCOA and its services, events or job opportunities, visit


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