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Major renovations to USS Kidd underway to ensure ship stays afloat

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BATON ROUGE - The USS Kidd is the oldest historical landmark in the capital city aside from the Old State Capitol. After its sister ship, USS the Sullivans, sank nearly three months ago, more concern has been raised over the conditions of the naval destroyer we have here in Baton Rouge.

The ship is 79 years old, approaching its eightieth birthday next year. Executive Director Rosehn Gipe says when the water rises and falls, it creates a constant threat to the ship's hull. Ultimately, this fluctuation could lead to the sinking of the USS Kidd.

Although it's survived World War II, the way the ship is maintained and overhauled now will determine the livelihood of the ship's preservation.

Always undergoing changes to both its interior and exterior, the ship is now one step closer to getting one of the most vital rehabilitations yet, including an overhaul to the hull.

The state, after approving some funding for the first phases of the project, will begin planning and preparing this month.

The maintenance crew continues to construct, sustain and modify components of the ship, Gipe says, all in an effort to restore it to its original 1945 configuration.

Among several changes to the Kidd, it most recently underwent a paint job to the deck, which will be completed in full in the coming weeks.

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