After years in development, the $1.25 million Woodmere Community Center has officially opened its doors to the residents and civic groups of one of the largest subdivisions in the state.
The 3,000-square-foot center, which was first proposed in 2008, will be staffed with a supervisor and a counselor and is open for use by the West Bank community’s 12,000 residents.
“I think it’s going to be a boon to the neighborhood,” Jefferson Parish Councilman Mark Spears said after a ribbon-cutting ceremony with parish and community leaders at Woodmere Park in Harvey on Friday.
The center includes a main hall, kitchen, conference room and outdoor patio. It can be rented by residents for $70 per hour for receptions, birthday parties or weddings and baby showers.
Until now, Woodmere residents have had to use community centers in Harvey and Marrero.
“I think this will be well used,” Spears said, noting that while Woodmere is only a subdivision, it’s larger than the city of Westwego. “Population-wise, it’s a large area.”
The center also will host community events, such as Woodmere’s annual health expo, which was scheduled to be held Saturday, and the Woodmere Civic Association’s regular meetings.
Visitors to the center can access a first-time homebuyers program, financial assistance for utility bills and food donated through Second Harvest Food Bank.
Woodmere Park has a walking track, a playground and two shelters.
Three-quarters of the funding for the new center came from the state, supplemented by a 25 percent match from Jefferson Parish government secured by former Councilman Byron Lee.
“It took awhile and was a long time coming, but finally we’ve seen the fruits of our labor,” Spears said.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.