The final phase of construction on the new Plaquemine Community Center is under way and is expected to be completed by the end of September.
The final phase includes re-skinning the exterior of the building, air conditioning and electrical work, pouring new concrete flooring that will be stained, finishing the interior with upper exposed structure and sheetrock walls, a roll up door, stage and sound system. The equipment for the commercial kitchen also will be installed.
The city received only one bid on the project, and it was by Comeaux Brothers Construction of Plaquemine. That company did the work on other phases of the project - the conversion to the outdoor pavilion area, facades to match the design of the Mark A. “Tony” Gulotta Bayou Waterfront Park pavilion, adding stucco to the columns, installing a fence around the perimeter, and construction of the air-conditioned Community Center restrooms, commercial kitchen, storage and office space. The project has also required re-wiring and plumbing of the old Nadler’s factory building.
The cost of the final phase is $1.1 million, and the total cost of gutting and rebuilding the entire building is $2.6 million. The city has received a $50,000 grant from Dow Chemical Co. for a portion of the kitchen equipment cost, and the city has funded the remainder of the project in phases over the last three years. The new community center includes 15,000 square feet of space with the hall, which will accommodate 650 people, the kitchen, restrooms and vestibule. The total space, with the covered outdoor area, is 26,000 square feet.
“This has been a phased project that I pushed immediately after taking office in 2017, and I am grateful for the support of the Board of Selectmen for the project,” said Mayor Edwin “Ed” Reeves, Jr. “The high number of calls we get weekly asking about when it will be opened are proof that it is needed and will get a lot of use.”