New Orleans city officials held a celebratory groundbreaking Tuesday for the Keller Community Center, which will provide afterschool programs and fitness classes at the city of a former fire station on Magnolia Street in Central City.
The community center is expected to open in the fall. For more information, see the news release below:
Today, Mayor Landrieu joined and City and State officials to break ground on the new Keller Community Center (1814 Magnolia St.). The Center will be a multi-purpose building that includes one meeting room, one staff office, one breakroom, and men’s and women’s restrooms. It will house a youth technology center, morning exercise classes for seniors, and afterschool STEM and arts programming. The new 2,000 square feet facility will cost $450,000 to construct.
“For decades, the Keller Community Center brought communities together, and enriched individuals and families through youth programming,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Today we’re excited to break ground on this center and provide the Central City neighborhood another place for residents to come together.”
District B Councilmember LaToya Cantrell said, “The development of the Keller Center has taken years of hard work by community members, public officials and city staff. I am proud of the work my office and I have done to help get this project off of the ground, and I look forward to the completion of the construction. This will be a real resource for Central City community.”
The original building was constructed as a fire station in 1890 and the facility was converted into a place for the New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD) programs in the mid 1990’s. The center was substantially damaged during Hurricane Katrina and the existing building was demolished in 2015 to prepare the site for the new facility.
Sewerage & Water Board Executive Director Cedric Grant said, “The new Keller Community Center is a great example of what can get done when the public and non-profit sector work together. This center will be an asset to this community and strengthen the neighborhood and the city as a whole.”
Keller Group Neighborhood Foundation INC. Chairman Leo Hayden said, “Keller Community Center is truly a community center! It is the result of the entire Central City Community using its collective voice to bring a sorely needed resource to this neighborhood. While it may not be as large or elaborate as other facilities, we know that good things come in small packages. The possibilities for the Keller Center are limitless. Myself, and the Keller board look forward to exploiting every one of them.”
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Louisiana Recovery Office Director Mike Womack said,” FEMA is happy to be a part of today’s groundbreaking. These community-centric centers provide critical and essential services for residents and keep communities together.”
Funding for this community center came from FEMA public assistance funds. It was designed by Holly and Smith Architects, APC, and will be constructed by Huda, LLC. Construction will be completed in fall 2017.