City To Build New $6.5 Million Rosenwald Center

by • November 22, 2013 • Community Development, Public DevelopmentComments (0)6568

The city received six bids earlier this month for the reconstruction of the Rosenwald Center on South Broad Street near Earhart Boulevard. The multi-use community center was once New Orleans’ only major recreational facility for African-Americans during segregation.

Gibbs Construction submitted the low bid of $6.74 million for the project. Other bids were received from Icon Construction Group of Metairie, $6.8 million; FHP Tectonics Corp. of Metairie, $6.82 million; GM & R Construction, of Bay St. Louis, Miss., $6.827 million; Barsto Construction Inc. of Kansas City, Mo., $7 million; and BelouMagner Construction of New Orleans, $7.8 million. WDG Architects of New Orleans designed the project.

The old building was a 17,000-square-foot facility, which included a 12,000-square-foot gymnasium and adjacent outdoor swimming pool, was heavily damaged during Hurricane Katrina. The community center, located at 1120 South Broad St., was opened in 1950 at the site of the former Lincoln Playground and was part of the old B.W. Cooper Housing Development. At the time, it was the only city center available for black children during segregation. The building was named after civic leader Edith Rosenwald Stern, who died in1980.  The building was demolished in January.

The new project includes construction of a 24,000-square-foot gym with a stage, indoor basketball courts, weight rooms, multi-purpose arts classrooms, meeting rooms and a snack bar. Outdoor facilities as part of the project include a baseball field, children’s play area, a walking track, and a fully restored pool and pool house.

The Rosenwald Center gets its name from local, civic leader Edith Rosenwald Stern, who died in1980. She was the daughter of philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, the founder of Sears Roebuck and Co. in Illinois. end

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