State and local officials cut a red ribbon Jan. 20 to open the newly remodeled Oak Grove Community Center.

The center, located at the intersection of La. 42 and La. 73, next to the parish’s spray park, has been undergoing renovations since its closing in late 2013.

“I think this is a community project that everyone is going to be able to utilize, and I think we need to do more of this around the parish and that’s what the plans are,” Parish President Tommy Martinez said.

Martinez complimented state Sen. Jody Amedee for securing funding for the completion of the project, and parish Councilman Chris Loar for seeing the project through from inception to completion.

“It was eight years ago that I drove by and I just had my youngest daughter at the time and had the vision for what this space could be,” Loar said. “But a vision is just an empty pipe dream it it’s not bought into and people don’t believe in it.”

Loar said the plan was embraced by the parish council and Martinez, along with the state legislative delegation and community.

Construction on the existing 1,550-square-foot building included the addition of a 426-square-foot event room and storage closet, increasing the overall size of the center by 580 square feet.

The ceremony was concluded with local historian Ira Babin giving a brief history of the property. Babin said the park property was the site of the former Oak Grove High School.

The center is used for meetings, birthday parties and receptions. Rental information is available by calling Michelle Templet, program coordinator with the parish recreation department, at (225) 621-5787.