Mayor Landrieu, City Officials Celebrate Opening Of NORD Milne NOLA FOR LIFE Center
NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined City Councilmembers, the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC), NORDC Foundation and city officials from NOLA FOR LIFE, the Mayor's comprehensive murder reduction strategy, to celebrate the opening of the NORD Milne NOLA FOR LIFE Center, 5420 Franklin Ave., in the Milneburg neighborhood. This facility previously served as part of the Milne Boys Home, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
“The Milne Boys Home has been a safe environment for children for decades,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “The NORD Milne NOLA FOR LIFE Center will continue that legacy by providing quality programing for all city residents with great emphasis on our teens. As one of my administration’s committed capital projects, this $3.3 million recreation center brings our total investment in the Milne campus to over $12 million. This critical investment will further strengthen the Milneburg community.”
The NORD Milne NOLA FOR LIFE Center repairs include roof replacement, conditioning and a new parking lot. Interior renovations included new floors, carpet, a teen center, exercise room and the gym’s basketball courts were repaired.
In addition to housing a teen center, boxing and other NORDC programming, the center will also support the City’s NOLA FOR LIFE initiative. Launched in May 2012, NOLA FOR LIFE is Mayor Landrieu's comprehensive strategy to tackle the city's historically high murder rate, City reps said. Recognizing that law enforcement alone cannot solve the murder problem, NOLA FOR LIFE takes a holistic approach to get to the root of the problem and implements initiatives in five main categories: Stop the Shooting, Invest in Prevention, Promote Jobs and Opportunity, Strengthen the NOPD and Get Involved and Rebuild Neighborhoods.
New Orleans Recreation Development Commission CEO Vic Richard said, “We are pleased that another investment by the City of New Orleans will continue to promote the mission to foster and promote the social, physical, and mental wellbeing of our population.”
“Keeping our city safe remains a top priority for this administration,” said Deputy Mayor Judy Reese Morse. “We are thankful for the partnership of NORD and NOLA FOR LIFE to create an impact in the lives of our youth. With this unique collaboration, the NORD Milne NOLA FOR LIFE Center is a place that aids in the City’s efforts to change the culture of violence in New Orleans.”
Criminal Justice Commissioner Calvin Johnson said, “We look forward to expanding our impact and working in the NORD Milne NOLA FOR LIFE Center to create new opportunities for the city’s youth. With this new partnership, we are able to take this program farther and continue our work to keep our city safe.”
The NORD Milne NOLA FOR LIFE Center will provide programming tailored for teens including Midnight Basketball, boxing, youth athletics, drama, music and after school programs.
District D Councilmember Jared C. Brossett said, "This ribbon cutting represents an investment in the children of New Orleans and their future. It is truly exciting for me to see the extent of the improvements made to the former Milne Boys Home. During my time in the Louisiana Legislature, I worked tirelessly with my colleagues to secure capital outlay funding to jump start renovations. Now, these historic buildings are back in productive use and will provide a great site for NORDC to implement both athletic and mentoring programs for our youth."
District E Councilmember James A. Gray II said, “NORDC has put together a world class recreation program, and this new gym will be one of the premier attractions.”
This project was designed by Waggoner & Ball Architects of New Orleans and built by CDW Services. Funding for this project comes from FEMA recovery dollars, City Bond funds, State Capital Outlay funds and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant Program.