In 2014, the City of New Orleans plans to begin redevelopment of an historic property in Gentilly. Shuttered since Hurricane Katrina, the Milne Boys Home will serve as the new headquarters for the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission. Opened in 1933, it housed orphans and troubled youth until it closed in ’86. Until Katrina it served intermittently as a center for after school and summer programs.
“The redevelopment of the Milne Boys Home as the new home of NORDC is a perfect example of the adaptive reuse of this historic property” Deputy Mayor Cedric Grant said. “It will once again serve as a safe place for New Orleans youth to grow, learn and play.”
Currently, NORDC leadership and managerial staff work out of three recreations centers, but this will enable NORDC to finally have all its functions under one roof.
“Centralizing our administrative space will benefit NORDC’s community reach and enable efficient and professional delivery of recreational services,” NORDC CEO Vic Richard said. The new NORDC is committed to becoming one of the best recreation departments in the country, with both facilities and programming that will strengthen our communities and groom future generations”
The facility will provide youth athletics to promote what the city calls, “physical, social and personal benefits that last a lifetime.” It will also offer cultural programs to “feed the soul with artistic expression” and will employ the leadership of local youth in a “teen council.”
The redeveloped facility will support the City’s NOLA FOR LIFE murder reduction initiative, which has identified several challenges faced by youth including low levels of community participation, low parental involvement, lack of involvement in conventional activities and low emotional attachment to parents and community that can contribute to estrangement and violent behavior.
Richard added, “By partnering NOLA FOR LIFE and NORDC programming, we can reduce violent behaviors by promoting and enhancing the development of youth by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence in their lives.”
Construction on the $11.2 million redevelopment is anticipated to be complete next summer.