City Breaks Ground On New Rosenwald Pool And Pool House In The B.W. Cooper Neighborhood

NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Mitch Landrieu, City officials and FEMA broke ground on the new $1.8 million Rosenwald Pool and Pool House yesterday, Monday, November 9, 2015, at 1120 South Broad St. in the B.W. Cooper neighborhood.

         The former pool and pool house was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The new Rosenwald Pool and Pool House will be open in time for next summer’s New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) swim season. Last month, the City celebrated the opening of the new $8.5 million Rosenwald Center.

         Upon completion, the new Rosenwald Pool and Pool House will be New Orleans’ sixteenth NORDC pool. Over the summer, the City and NORDC celebrated the openings of the Sanchez Center Pool at 1616 Caffin Ave. in the Lower Ninth Ward and the Stallings St. Claude Center Pool at 4300 St. Claude Ave. in the Bywater.   

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         “Next summer, New Orleanians of all ages will have another place to cool off and enjoy all the benefits of NORDC’s summer swim programming," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. "This pool and pool house will perfectly complement the new Rosenwald Center that opened last month. Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina brought New Orleans to its knees but today we are standing taller than ever. With each new project, we can look forward to taking another powerful step forward in our city’s recovery. Today is another sign of renewal and reinvestment in the B.W. Cooper neighborhood as we break ground on the new Rosenwald Pool and Pool House.”

         District B Councilmember LaToya Cantrell said, “Every new facility helps to strengthen the quality of life for our community, providing more resources and options for our children.”

         Since Mayor Landrieu took office in 2010, the City has invested over $157 million in new and improved NORDC facilities and nearly tripled its programming budget. In 2010, about 500 young people learned to swim at eight NORDC pools but this year nearly 4,000 learned at 15 pools. Also in 2010, only 1,600 children participated in four NORDC summer camps but as of this summer, 5,100 children participated at 49 youth and teen camps across New Orleans. In 2010, New Orleans only had four NORDC recreation centers open to the public. Today, there are ten.

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         The original Rosenwald Center and Pool was built in 1950 and at the time was New Orleans’ only major recreation center to serve African American youth. The center and pool are named for philanthropist, community leader and civil rights activist Edith Rosenwald Stern.

         Vic Richard, CEO of NORDC, said, “In the last five years, NORDC has seen tremendous growth both in the facilities we operate and the programming offered allowing us to positively impact our residents’ lives. Next summer, swimmers will have sixteen pools to take advantage of when the new Rosenwald Pool opens. Every day, we are working hard to build the best recreation department in the nation, and the new Rosenwald Pool will help us achieve that goal.”

         NORD Commission Chairman Roy Glapion said, “Standing in the shadow of the beautiful new Rosenwald Center that opened only weeks ago, it is thrilling to continue the momentum as we embark on rebuilding the pool that served this community for decades before the Katrina disaster. The NORD Commission works with community and business leaders, and our partners in government, to provide safe and enriching recreational opportunities that will surpass anything that came before, for this, and for every neighborhood in our city.”

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         The new Rosenwald Pool and Pool House is the result of the continued success of the public-private partnership between the City of New Orleans, NORD Commission and NORD Foundation.

         NORD Foundation Chairman John Sibal said, “This is another great day for NORDC.  Not only have we recently opened a brand new and improved rec center at Rosenwald, rebuilding the Rosenwald swimming pool in time to be open by next summer will offer another opportunity for our citizens to be active and fit.”


Funding and Construction


         Funding for the $1.8 million Rosenwald Pool and Pool House comes from FEMA public assistance, State Capital Outlay funding and City Bond funds. The 85,000 gallon swimming pool will be completely restored and the new pool house will feature men’s and women’s locker rooms. The new Rosenwald Pool and Pool House was designed by WDG, LLC and is being constructed by CDW Services. Local DBE firms working on the new Rosenwald Pool and Pool House include Waldo Brothers, Inc. and UATC & Associates, Inc.

         Cedric Grant, Executive Director of Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, said, “The new Rosenwald Pool and Pool House will be the perfect addition to the new Rosenwald Center in the B.W. Cooper neighborhood. Projects like these make a huge difference for residents of all ages by providing recreational opportunities that foster true community development. NORDC’s capital improvement program is a true success. We aren’t just rebuilding what Hurricane Katrina damaged and destroyed, we’re building back stronger and more resilient to better serve our residents’ needs.”

         Eddie Williams, Public Assistance Chief with the FEMA Louisiana Recovery Office, said , “We congratulate the city of New Orleans on entering the next phase of construction at the Rosenwald Center. Once restored, this pool will serve as a welcomed addition to the recreational opportunities offered by this great facility.”

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