The Wesley Foundation will soon be able to add to its live-in community because of a donation from The Chimes restaurant and bar.
A house, donated by The Chimes, was moved Jan. 31 from the restaurant’s property to the foundation’s lot on East Chimes Street.
The move will open more parking to The Chimes and the Varsity Theatre.
The Wesley Foundation is a United Methodist-based ministry located on LSU’s campus. The foundation provides “church worship and a live-in community where students can come in for acceptance and inclusion,” according to the Rev. Adam Darragh, director of the LSU ministry.
The ministry has housed students since the early 2000s. Students have been residing in the ministry’s building, a rented house and with a family near the ministry.
The donated house was physically picked up and moved a few doors down to property owned by The Wesley Foundation.
The new house measures 1,330 square-feet, which includes two bedrooms and a porch area.
Naturally, the house will be used for living quarters for an additional three to five LSU students, but it also will offer “another place for worship, meetings and will give the students more space for confidential discussions," Darragh said. "Right now (in the current building) there are not a lot of smaller spaces. The new house will provide this.”
Planning for the donation and move began last year.
“The idea of having the house on our own property was very appealing because it’s now clear where events will be held. Students were having a hard time finding the location of events before,” Darragh said.
While the Wesley Foundation paid for the moving expenses, The Chimes kicked in money it would have used to spend demolishing the house.
The Chimes said in a statement, “Our goal is to increase available parking for The Chimes and Varsity Theatre. Our hope is that the addition will ease some of the parking pressure in that area.”
Darragh said the donation is good for both parties. “The Chimes has been great neighbors. The ministry has been here their entire life (of the restaurant). They care so much about LSU students and realized the donation would help keep houses in the area. They are trying to find ways to preserve houses around here.”
“It was a long process of building a new foundation, placing steel under the house, lifting the house, sliding wheels under the house and cutting the roof to not disturb power lines,” Darragh said.
The entire move took about 10 hours to complete. “It’s always little things that take up extra time. But, you want to move slowly and be confident everyone is safe,” Darragh added.
Now that the house has found its new home, there are still many things to do to make the house livable. The first being the roof needs to be placed back on top of the house.
Darragh hopes to have the new house ready for students to live in by the fall semester.