Upgrades planned for Carver Park in Black Pearl

Long-awaited renovations to George Washington Carver Playground, near the levee in the Black Pearl neighborhood, will soon be underway. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for Sept. 12 at 9:30 a.m., state Rep. Aimee Adatto Freeman announced Friday (Sept. 1). The Carver Playground and the concessions building are in line for major upgrades, according to the city’s Capital Projects Administration.

NORD promises to reopen Saratoga Playspot, outlines improvements to historic Atkinson-Stern Tennis Center

Calling Uptown’s Atkinson-Stern Tennis Center one of the city’s jewels, Larry Barabino Jr., CEO of the city’s recreation commission, said NORD is moving forward with its renovation plans for the historic tennis venue. Barabino told the City Council’s Community Development Committee last week that the renovations that began in late 2020 are expected to continue until at least the end of this year. That information session will be discussed tonight (Aug. 17) at the Delachaise Neighborhood Association meeting. Opening in 1897 as a private club, Atkinson-Stern is one of the nation’s oldest tennis centers.

NORD senior activity center opens in former Boys & Girls Club

The New Orleans Recreational Development Commission has opened a senior activity center next to the Rosenwald Recreation Center on South Broad Street. Available to seniors throughout the year, the Rosenwald Annex fills a gap in services, NORD CEO Larry Barabino Jr. noted during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the end of May. “‘Something for everyone’ is NORD’s hashtag, our motto,” he said. “But in summer months, our morning senior programs would halt because we take in all of our kids during summer programs. One thing I told our mayor when I first came on is that we need to have something for our seniors year-round.” The 8,500-square-foot Rosenwald Annex at 1140 S. Broad St.

NORD’s outdoor pools are opening for the summer

The New Orleans Recreation Development Commission outdoor pools are opening for the summer on Monday (June 7) with free summer swim lessons and other aquatic activities. 

Programming at select pools includes open swim, lap swimming, water aerobics and swim lessons. All programming is available free of charge to New Orleans residents. This summer, NORD has 10 season pools and three year-round pools open throughout the city. Four are currently closed. Swimmers have to plan ahead to use the pools — reservations are required for open swim times and lap swimming as well as for classes.

Early registration urged for NORD summer camps

The New Orleans Recreation Development Commission, which has moved its summer camp registration online, is now pre-registering for the NORD youth summer camps serving participants ages 4 through 12. Choose from camps focusing on sports, visual arts, theater arts, STEM, academic enrichment, outdoors, dance and more. Weekly field trips to places like the Skate Center, Aquarium, Zoo, and Insectarium, just to name a few. Participants also visit NORD pools to stay cool in the summer heat. See here for summer camp listings.

Chess program at NORD centers aims to help kids build stronger brains

By Emily Carmichael, Uptown Messenger

Kendric J. Perkins opens an online chess games on his phone. One of students at Strategic Thoughts has just made a move, and now it is Perkins’ turn. “This is Isiaih,” Perkins said. “He might get me this game.”

This is the kind of homework Perkins assigns his students at Strategic Thoughts, the challenge of playing their teacher in online game of chess. On Monday (March 2), Strategic Thoughts will start a chess course in seven New Orleans Recreation Department locations.

Larry Barabino, Jr. named NORD Commission CEO

from NORD Commission

The New Orleans Recreation Development (NORD) Commission approved Larry Barabino, Jr. as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at a Commission meeting at City Hall on Tuesday (Dec. 4). The NORDC Executive Search Committee voted unanimously to recommend Barabino after a three-month search that included nearly 100 applicants and three finalists. The CEO Search
The NORD Commission Executive Search Committee began the process in late July. Through a series of public meetings and listening sessions, they crafted a job description that described the search as seeking a collaborative visionary with strong communications skills and a heart for New Orleans to serve as our next Chief Executive Officer.

Tonight: NORD Commission to host public forum for CEO finalists

via NORD Commission

The Executive Search Committee of the New Orleans Recreation Development (NORD) Commission will host a public forum with their three CEO finalists tonight (Nov. 26) from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall. The open forum will afford the public an opportunity to hear brief opening presentations from each candidate, followed by a moderated question and answer session. Members of the public can submit questions in writing via email at NORDCEO@teamamcorp.com or in person at the public meeting. For those interested who may not be able to attend, the forum will be live streamed on NORD’s Facebook page.

New indoor pool at Gert Town Natatorium now open for swimmers

The newly constructed Gert Town Natatorium — next door to the recently-completed New Orleans Police Department Second District station — is now open to swimmers, with classes scheduled throughout the day, according to city recreation officials. The indoor pool shares the same 3411 Broadway Street address with the new police station next door, which opened earlier in September. It is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays — though it closes from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for cleaning — and also from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays. “The new 15,000 square foot facility houses a six-lane, 25-yard indoor competition swimming pool and shares a community plaza with the neighboring Second District Police Station,” according to the New Orleans Recreation Department Commission.

Lyons Center weekly chess classes for kids start Thursday

A series of weekly chess classes for elementary and middle-school aged children will start Thursday evening at the Lyons Center. “Chess at the Center” is open to chess players of all skill levels from ages 6 to 14. It is led by Kendric Perkins, a NORD coach who teaches chess at Lycee Francais and other local schools. The lessons will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Lyons Center, 624 Louisiana Avenue. The class starts this Thursday, July 12, and continues through Aug.