City Opens Sanchez Center In Lower Ninth Ward

NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Mitch Landrieu, City and State officials, and FEMA celebrated the ribbon cutting and opening of the new Andrew P. Sanchez & Copelin-Byrd Multi-Service Center (Sanchez Center), located at 1616 Caffin St. in the Lower Ninth Ward, today, Friday, May 29, 2015, at 10:00 a.m.

         The new Sanchez Center is a $20.5 million, two-story 65,000 square foot facility that includes an indoor swimming pool, senior center, health clinic and NOPD sub-station. This facility replaces the previous 50,000 square foot community center that was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina.

         The difference in square footage is attributed to the addition of a 25 meter indoor swimming pool, which was not part of the original facility.      Amenities at the new Sanchez Center will include a two-story entrance lobby with full height glazing, regulation size high school indoor basketball court with retractable bleachers and performance stage, commercial kitchen and concessions, 700 square foot exercise room, 1,600 square foot dance room, 850 square foot game room, 4,000 square foot senior center, 6,000 square foot health clinic, multi-purpose classrooms, computer lab, reading room, music room and an arts and crafts classroom.

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         Additional features include clearstory day-lighting in public corridor and gym, energy efficient, hurricane-rated windows and door systems, public grass lawn for outdoor activity landscaped with trees and site lighting, off-street parking for over 80 visitors, passenger drop-off area at main entrance, passenger and service elevators, and bike racks, sidewalks and cross walks.

         The new Sanchez Center is the first of three new New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) recreation centers that will open this year. Stallings St. Claude Center at 4300 St. Claude Ave. in the Bywater will open in the coming weeks and the Rosenwald Center at 1120 South Broad St. in the B.W. Cooper neighborhood will open in late summer.

         “Today, we celebrate another sign of renewal and reinvestment in the historic Lower Ninth Ward,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “As one of my administration’s committed capital projects, the new Sanchez Center is a symbol of this community’s rebirth. Nearly ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina brought New Orleans to its knees but today we are standing taller than ever and the Lower Ninth Ward continues to rise. This community is the true definition of resilience. Now, our young people have a safe place to grow, learn and play in this state-of-the-art community center that will offer enrichment and important community services to residents of all ages.”

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         District E City Councilmember James Austin Gray II said, “This new multi-purpose center offers something for everyone—healthcare, senior services, added police protection and a variety of activities–swimming, dance, art, music, and even a commercial kitchen for the neighborhood.   This is a key anchor for the revitalization of the Lower Ninth Ward. With the new Dr. King Charter School online, a state-of-the-art fire station, revitalized neighborhood parks and replanted wetlands, and new retail and housing slated for various neighborhoods, the Lower Ninth Ward will be a safe and inviting place for families to buy a home, educate their kids, participate in local recreation and enjoy the good life New Orleans has to offer.”

         District C Councilmember Nadine Ramsey said, “The Andrew P. Sanchez & Copelin-Byrd Multi-Service Center has long been a symbol of family and neighborhood unity. As a former resident, I am encouraged that the Lower Ninth Ward is rebuilding. I look forward to all the residents of the New Orleans and especially those in the Lower Ninth Ward enjoying all the wonderful activities and amenities this community center will provide. I am excited about the Olympic-size swimming pool, gymnasium, art and dance studios. The new health clinic will be a much needed addition to the community. Hopefully, this marks the beginning of the rebirth of all the areas that make up this community.”

         State Senator J.P. Morrell said, “Community centers are important neighborhood anchors that inspire and enrich the lives of all that take advantage of the services they offer. The new Andrew P. Sanchez & Copelin-Byrd Multi-Service Center, in the heart of the Lower Ninth Ward, is another sign of this area’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina. It joins Dr. King Charter School and a new, hurricane-resilient NOFD Fire Station across the street. And, just blocks away, is the new Alfred Lawless High School opening later this year. These are positive steps forward in this historic neighborhood’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina.”

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         Vic Richard, CEO of NORDC, said, “This is an incredibly exciting day for NORDC and the entire city of New Orleans. We have eagerly anticipated the opening of this state-of-the-art community center and could not be more thrilled that we will showcase it for this year’s NORDC summer programming. The new Sanchez Center is another symbol of our commitment to build the best recreation department in the country. NORDC is growing at a tremendous rate and we are expanding our reach across New Orleans to provide our residents’ opportunities to grow, learn, and play.”

         NORDC Chairman Roy Glapion said, “Today we celebrate partnerships and promises kept.  Partnerships in government, using private and public funds, with thousands of volunteer hours from NORD Commissioners to coaches and neighborhood residents, built this award-winning Sanchez Center, and built it better than anything we had before. As NORDC launches new recreational opportunities here, with the community’s help, they too will be better than ever before.”

         The new Sanchez Center is the result of the continued success of the public-private partnership between the City of New Orleans, NORD Commission and NORD Foundation. Through the NORD Foundation, high quality fixtures, furnishings and equipment were made possible by the generosity of the Boh Brothers Centennial Fund, Chevron, First NBC Bank, Goldring Family Foundation, Legends of Basketball/National Basketball Retired Professionals Association, Tom Moran and Mutual of America, the RosaMary Foundation and the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation.

         NORD Foundation Chairman John Sibal said, “The NORD Foundation is excited to see the unveiling of this world-class facility in a neighborhood that is still struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.  It is yet another accomplishment of the public-private partnership approved by the voters in 2010.  We are extremely grateful to our NORD Foundation Board members who invest their time, money and relationships to help provide quality recreation for everyone in this City and to all our donors who recognize the importance of our work. Recreation is not “just” fun: it is life skills development, health and wellness, crime prevention, physical education, character education, environmental education, cultural education – and, it’s fun!”




         Funding for the $20.5 million Sanchez Center comes from FEMA public assistance, Disaster Community Development Block Grant funding, Insurance, and City Bond funds. The new Sanchez Center was designed by Perez, APC of New Orleans and constructed by Gibbs Construction of New Orleans. Eleven local DBE firms worked on the new Sanchez Center including: Kenall Inc.; UATC & Associates, Inc.; Waldo Brothers, Inc.; LHT Services Inc.; Copper Contracting Group, LLC; Gee Construction LLC; Cordeiro Concrete Service, LLC; V Keeler & Associates, Inc.; Louisiana Skilled Labor LLC; McCorkle & Sons Tile Contractors, Inc.; and CMC Drywall Inc.

         Earlier this year, the new Sanchez Center was recognized by the Louisiana Recreation and Park Association for its high degree of professional design quality and recreational usage.

         Cedric Grant, Executive Director of Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, said, “The new, state-of-the-art Sanchez Center is a major step forward in the continued revitalization of the Lower Ninth Ward. This community center was designed and built to meet this community’s needs by including space for a health clinic, senior center, and NOPD substation. By working with the community, we have created a new and improved space that will positively impact the lives of all those that enter its doors. The Lower Ninth Ward grows even stronger today.”

         Marion McFadden, HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs, said, “The Sanchez Center demonstrates a spirit of renewal in a community that’s fought to come back stronger than before. In the wake of unimaginable devastation, the Lower Ninth Ward faced an uphill battle to rebuild, but this new community-centered facility shows the unbreakable spirit of those who call this neighborhood their home. HUD has been a close partner across the region long before Hurricane Katrina made landfall, and we look forward to continuing our work together to create safe, resilient, and livable communities.”

         Albert Walters, FEMA Louisiana Recovery Office Deputy Public Assistance Division Supervisor, said, “Congratulations to the City and the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood on opening the new Andrew P. Sanchez & Copelin-Byrd Multi-Service Center. Through our state and local recovery partnerships, we remain committed to revitalization efforts throughout New Orleans.”

         Pat Forbes, Executive Director of the Louisiana Office of Community Development, said, “The opening of the Sanchez Center at the beginning of summer will allow residents of the Lower Ninth Ward, young and old, to take advantage of the amenities and enjoy being together as a community. This important investment of federal recovery dollars is another big step toward the full recovery of the neighborhood.”




         Later in June, the Sanchez Center Health Clinic will open, hosting a range of health services for the Lower Ninth Ward community. The clinic will be operated by Baptist Community Health Services (BCHS), a non-profit community-based health care provider that offers services regardless of patients’ ability to pay. The Sanchez Center Health Clinic will provide behavioral health and primary care services, including childhood vaccines and wellness exams, management of chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, and urgent concerns like stitches, asthma, and screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In addition, the Sanchez Center will house Healthy Start New Orleans, a Health Department program that provides case management for new mothers and children with the aim of improving birth outcomes.

         Charlotte Parent, Director of the New Orleans Health Department, said “We are pleased to play a role in bringing important health services to the Lower Ninth Ward. As a city, we are working to improve access to care by making services available in neighborhoods. With the opening of the health clinic later in June and Healthy Start programming coming online, we envision the Sanchez Center as a hub for health and wellbeing in the Lower Ninth Ward community for years to come.”




         In partnership with the New Orleans Council on Aging and RAI Ministries – Camp Restore, the Sanchez Center will include a new senior center which will open in July. Senior centers are important places our seniors can meet for services and activities that reflect their experiences and skills, respond to their diverse needs and interests, enhance their dignity, support their independence and encourage their involvement at both the center and in the community. Research shows that older adults who participate in senior center programs can learn to manage and delay the onset of chronic disease and experience measurable improvements in their physical, social, spiritual, emotional, mental and emotional well-being.

         Howard L. Rodgers, III, Executive Director of the New Orleans Council on Aging, said, “The Lower Ninth Ward Senior Center will offer a wide variety of programs and services including: meal and nutrition programs, information and assistance, health, fitness and wellness program, social and recreational activities, educational and arts programs, intergenerational programs, field trips, volunteer and civic engagements. We are excited about opening the senior center in July and are ready to welcome home those members of the Lower Ninth Ward Senior Center who were previous members of E. J. Morris Senior Center.”




         The Sanchez Center includes a NOPD sub-station that will serve as an extension of protection for NOPD Fifth District officers and civilian staff to operate from when protecting the Lower Ninth Ward and Holy Cross neighborhoods. The sub-station includes an entrance separate from the main building entry, reception desk and waiting room, office space, holding room, and IT closet for telecom gear.

         NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison said, “The NOPD is committed to protect every neighborhood in New Orleans. This new NOPD sub-station inside the Sanchez Center will allow our Fifth District police officers and civilian staff to have a permanent location when protecting the Lower Ninth Ward and Holy Cross neighborhoods. By providing our officers new, state-of-the-art facilities, we are building a stronger more resilient police department that can better protect and serve our residents. We look forward to strengthening our bond with the Lower Ninth Ward community.”




         The new $20.5 million Andrew P. Sanchez & Copelin-Byrd Multi-Service Center joins the recently opened NOFD Engine 39 Fire Station at the intersection of North Claiborne Avenue and Caffin Street in the Lower Ninth Ward. These important public facilities are just up the street from where a new CVS/pharmacy will be constructed in 2015, marking the first major retailer to commit to a project in the Lower Ninth Ward since Hurricane Katrina.

         Since Mayor Landrieu took office in May 2010, $19.6 million in road repairs have been completed in the Lower Ninth Ward. There is an additional $58.6 million in roadway and infrastructure improvements on the way.

         Through the Mayor’s targeted, place-based development strategy, the Lower Ninth Ward’s recovery is also benefitting from initiatives like the $52 million “soft second” mortgage homebuyer assistance program and Lot Next Door Program reforms aimed at getting over grown and vacant  property back into commerce. In recent years, the City reopened the new $2.1 million Oliver Bush Playground and teamed with the New Orleans Pelicans and Salvation Army to provide over $465,000 in improvements to Sam Bonart Playground.




         NORDC Camps


         This year, NORDC will offer 39 youth camps (ages 4-12) that will serve over 3,800 kids across the city through partnerships with schools, non-profits and faith-based organizations. The programming offers a wide array of academic, cultural and recreational activities, including free field trips to the Audubon Zoo, the Aquarium of the Americas and NORDC pools for swimming lessons.

         NORDC will offer 10 teen camps (ages 13-15), which will serve 1,000 teens across the city. In partnership with JOB1, the City’s office of workforce development, teen camps will offer local teenagers career exploration seminars to allow for exposure to a variety of job fields. Free breakfast, lunch and field trips are provided. Additionally, teens will earn a stipend of $75 per week. Teen Camp applications are accepted by scheduled appointments only. For more details, click here.


         NOLA Youth Works


         The Mayor’s 2015 NOLA Youth Works Summer Employment Program will serve 1,000 young people ages 13 to 21 with five program offerings. NOLA Youth Works partners with private and non-profit companies and organizations to provide quality summer experiences at safe, structured and properly supervised environments. Youth summer employment opportunities will improve the overall education of the individual participants and help to build the capacity of our local knowledge-based workforce.

         The City has committed over $1 million for the 2015 program. In addition, as part of a three-year commitment, the United Way of Southeast Louisiana will donate $60,000 to NOLA Youth Works. As in past years, local businesses are encouraged to help the City meet its goal of providing paid job experiences for all eligible and interested youth. The City depends on full participation from both the public and private sectors in order to solve the skilled workforce shortage and provide a pathway to prosperity for our young men and women.

         Again this year, Mayor Landrieu is calling on local businesses and organizations to sign up to be part of the program. Prospective employers can learn more about the program by visiting Employers can also request information by emailing or by calling the City’s office of workforce development at (504) 658-4529.


         For 2015, NOLA Youth Works includes the following programs:


         Work and Learn, June 15 – July 17, 2015 – With programming from various community partners, Work and Learn provides participants with grade level-specific instruction as well as career exploration, job readiness and project-based learning activities. Participants receive a $100 weekly stipend for 20 hours.

         Signature Program, June 15 – July 17, 2015 – A compilation of unique summer experiences, the Signature Program will provide participants opportunities in industries such as film and architecture. They will be immersed in learning through projects, community service, presentations and field trips. Participants will earn a $100 weekly stipend for 20 hours.

         Traditional, June 15 – July 17, 2015 – Youth will be engaged in a youth-friendly environment and receive hands-on experience that is reflective of the job placement. Participants will receive $8 an hour for 20 hours weekly.

         Junior Camp Counselor, June 8 – July 10, 2015 – These youth will serve as camp counselors at various campsites throughout the metro area. Participants will receive $8 an hour for 30 hours weekly.

         Intern NOLA, June 8 – July 10, 2015 – Participants in this program, who will be selected based on their resumes and interviews, will intern in a local business, non-profit organization or public office. Internship positions will focus on research and short-term projects that provide impact to the host organization. Participants earn $10 an hour for 25-30 hours weekly.

         Applications for NOLA Youth Works are accepted by appointment only. Youth and parents may visit the NOLA Youth Works website at for full program information and to schedule an appointment. Space is limited, so the City strongly encourages participants to apply now.


         Summer Meals


         In 2010, Share Our Strength joined with Mayor Landrieu to launch the New Orleans “No Kid Hungry” campaign, a public-private partnership working to end childhood hunger in New Orleans. The campaign is working towards that goal by connecting kids to federal nutrition programs including free school breakfast, free after-school meals and free meals during the summer.

         This summer, the City and its partners are aggressively working to coordinate free summer meals for all NORDC summer camps by linking them to Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsors. These sponsors prepare meals for summer camps. Any child under the age of 18 may participate.

         The U.S. Department of Agriculture and additional sponsors will ensure all meals are free to summer camp participants. Last summer, the City served over 50,000 meals to NORDC youth and teen camp participants.


         The Sanchez Center will be open from Mondays through Fridays from 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The Rec Center will be closed on Sundays.

         The Sanchez Center’s pool will open on Monday, June 1, and hours of operation will be Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sundays from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

         For more information




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