Seven years after Hurricane Katrina caused severe damage to St. Joseph Convent in New Orleans, La., a 7,500 pound marble statue of the damaged convent’s namesake was relocated to Baton Rouge, La.’s St. Joseph’s Academy High School (SJA) during Easter weekend. Turner Industries employees played an integral part in the process, removing the 106-year-old statue, restoring it to its original condition and relocating it to its new home. Without them, this project would have been difficult, if not impossible, to accomplishment.
The statue was first placed in 1906 and changed locations numerous times until it was placed at St. Joseph Convent on Mirabeau Ave. in New Orleans. After Katrina, the convent was razed due to flooding.
“The statue means a great deal to me personally,” Sister Joan Laplace of SJA Baton Rouge, and former student at the New Orleans campus, said. “I went to school under his guidance.”
“We couldn’t have done this without Turner Industries,” Sister Laplace said. “They handled the statue so carefully. It’s such a valuable piece of our history and art and Turner rescued him.”
Ellis Vliet, a Turner Industries project manager, oversaw the New Orleans team that removed and restored the statue. It was then shipped to Baton Rouge where Mike Morain, senior vice president of the Equipment Division at Turner Industries, managed the remaining responsibilities. Installing the statue at the new location required the use of one of Turner’s cranes and the assistance of five Turner employees.
The statue will now welcome students and visitors at the new Academy Arts Center, scheduled to open for the 2012-2013 school year.