YMCA set to open doors in Luling just weeks from now

May 16, 2007 at 12:55 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

YMCA program manager Lou Johnson welcomes everyone to the new facility.
Photo by Shonna Riggs
YMCA program manager Lou Johnson welcomes everyone to the new facility.
The River Parishes YMCA will open in June, offering youth activities for St. Charles Parish middle school and high school students.

And a temporary location on 737 Paul Maillard Road, Suite D, is the perfect spot, according to Lou Johnson, senior program manager for the project.

“The location is ideal for us to gather kids from both sides of the parish,” Johnson said.

Proposed fees are in place, but nothing has been set in stone.

“We are looking at charging a fee of $45 to $50 annually for each student,” said Johnson, who adds that no one will be turned away for an inability to pay.

“We will operate on a sliding scale, which means a family can pay as little as $10 per child for a year if they fall within certain income guidelines, once a standard fee has been set.”

The center will offer activities like art, creative writing, reading literacy programs, health and fitness, and a kids corner with video games and a computer center.

“Any projects that are included under the YMCA’s umbrella are activities we can bring into the center and work with the kids,” he continued.

“One idea is a video game attached to an exercise bike, once the more the child peddles the bike the longer he is able to play the video game, this way the child is able to get exercise too.”

Johnson explained that a larger facility will be built, but for right now the decision to start a program early was all a part of an effort to give teens something to look forward to this summer.

“We needed a place for middle and high school students to go this summer in St. Charles Parish because their activities are limited in this area,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the organization, which includes of St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and St. James parishes, has raised $100,000 in startup funding and is considering a site near R.K. Smith Middle School owned by the Esperanza Land Co. to build the full service facility.

"The proposed site is something we won't be able to break ground on until another four years or so," Johnson said.

“Right now this temporary center is like a hub station,” he told the Herald-Guide.

“For activities like swimming the kids will be transported to other YMCA facilities already established in the areas like Metairie.”


What do YOU think about the YMCA’s initiative in St. Charles Parish? Write editor@heraldguide.com ... you’ll be glad you did.

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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