City officials cut ribbon on rehabbed Tremé Center

For the first time in nearly a decade, residents of Treme again have a community center of their own.

City officials cut the ribbon Tuesday on the rehabbed Treme Center. Upgrades to the facility include a new swimming pool, installation of a new computer lab and music room, a new gymnasium floor and upgrades to the electrical system.

The center was damaged during Hurricane Katrina.

The work, which lasted a little more than a year, cost $5.6 million and was paid for through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, state capital outlay funds, city bond funds, insurance and city capital funds.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the center’s reopening restores a “sacred space” in one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods.

Once again, he said, children will have not only a safe place to play but to learn skills such as sewing Mardi Gras Indian costumes.

The addition of the pool at the center means 13 pools will be open in the city this summer, Landrieu said.

Vic Richard, CEO of the New Orleans Recreation Department Commission, noted that the building was redesigned from the shell out. The center should serve the community well since neighbors had input, Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer added.

NORDC and city officials said the next steps for the center will be trying to add programs for students at Joseph A. Craig Elementary School, which sits across the street from the center.

Richard said meetings about those programs will begin as soon as next week. “The commitment has been made,” he said.