It keeps growing.
The Edward A. Dufresne Community Center in Luling has seen its usage by residents increase each year since the center opened in 2013, and with it the revenue created.
In 2017, the center set new high marks in revenue, $107,700, and number of attendees, with more than 68,500. Those numbers were up from the 2016 approximate marks of $81,900 and 54,300, respectively.
When compared to the center’s early years, though, the difference is even more striking. In 2014 and 2015, the center turned out a combined $65,000 in revenue over its first two full years and just under 40,000 combined attendees over that same span.
The facility, located at 274 Judge Edward Dufresne Parkway, holds a 13,900 square foot gymnasium space and a 2,055 square foot meeting room space, which is offered for rental for private and nonprofit events.
“When we first opened, we were in that growing phase,” said Anedra Coleman, Community Center Coordinator. “People were just learning about us, we were getting our feet wet. I think now people are learning more about us. People are happy to have something like this close to their home that they’re able to utilize, and that’s starting to grab the attention of people out there.”
A big part of that increase has been the parish’s commitment to keeping the center open and busy. In 2017, more than 334 events were held by a combination of government, private, community education and school function events, as well as free play.
Among those events have been the parish’s annual Easter Egg Hunt, annual Veteran’s Day Luncheon and Senior Citizen’s Luncheon and the Christmas Tree Lighting hosted by the St. Charles Parish Rotary. New private event additions last year included Dow’s family Christmas party and Shell’s Date with Destiny career conference.
“We really try our best to accommodate as many public events as possible,” Coleman said. “It takes a lot of teamwork and we work well together here. We want to have as many people use our center as possible, and so far our events have been well-attended.”
A large bump to attendance came from the center hosting United Way’s Battle for the Paddle for the first time last year.
“That brought many, many people,” Coleman said.
The center hosts sporting events as well, including the national Biddy Basketball tournament that will be held March 9-13. Coleman estimated that tourney, which will bring 25 teams to compete from all over the nation, will bring approximately 10,000 people to town.
Already this year, a combined 58 government and private events have been already hosted at the center.