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Jindal will attend community center groundbreaking

By Jonathan Menard -   Dec 01, 2011

Gov. Bobby Jindal will attend the groundbreaking for the parish’s new community center in Luling on Dec. 16 at 11:30 a.m.

Lamar Contractors Inc. was the low bidder for the project at $10.5 million and the building will be constructed at 274 Judge Edward Dufresne Parkway. As designed, the 29,891-square-foot building will include a gym, commercial kitchen, public meeting space and office space for at least three parish departments, including the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, the Parks and Recreation Department and Community Services.

The building will have a capacity of 1,688 people, including seating in the bleachers and floor space.

The parish has received about $7.8 million in Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant funding for the project. The parish plans to construct a permanent backup power generator at the facility through a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant in the amount of $275,000.

The idea for the community center, which will be built on land donated by Esperanza Land Co., was originally presented in 2009. Parish President V.J. St. Pierre Jr. said that it’s satisfying to see the project become a reality.

"This facility will allow us so much flexibility in being able to get things accomplished - from scheduling a last-minute basketball game to staging assisted evacuations in a climate-controlled building to attracting special events," he said. "It’s something the parish will be able to grow with, as it will be built in a way that will allow for relatively easy expansions at a reasonable cost with very little downtime.

"And the parish will get use out of the facility on a daily basis."

Because the center will be built to withstand 130 mph winds, it may also be used as a temporary shelter during some emergency events.

It would also be the first parish-owned gym space for recreational games and will function as a staging area for assisted evacuations.

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