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New Council on Aging Senior Citizen’s Center opens in Edgard

EDGARD — St. John the Baptist Parish officials saw a need for a new Council on Aging Senior Citizen’s Center to meet the needs of the tight-knit, supportive community of the West Bank.

Located at 3445 Louisiana 18 in Edgard adjacent to sprawling park grounds, the new Council on Aging Senior Citizen’s Center gives seniors more space to congregate and take part in recreational activities.

Parish President Natalie Robottom and Assessor Lucien Gauff III noted the preexisting Council on Aging Senior Citizen’s Center located behind the Edgard Courthouse isn’t large enough to accommodate large groups.

“On the West Bank, when they have an event, they’re all there,” Robottom said. “It’s a very supportive community, and they typically have wonderful holiday events. You have to be able to provide space for the whole group.”

The new building is situated next to a park and provides 3400 square feet for gathering and recreational activities.

The new building will provide the same services as the old building with greater space, accommodations and accessibility, according to Cheryl Parquet, executive director of the Council on Aging Senior Citizen’s  Center.

A state-of-the-art kitchen, large activity room, a computer room and outdoor seating are now available to seniors to utilize on a daily basis.

The Council on Aging Senior Citizen’s Center currently serves 40 to 50 people on the West Bank, providing hot meals, transportation and other services to improve the quality of life for seniors age 60 or older in St. John the Baptist Parish.

“Hopefully we can get more people to participate now,” Parquet said. “We’re trying to attract the younger seniors. If they come out and get involved, they’ll be surprised.”

Parquet said the organization presents recreational opportunities to seniors, including field trips around the New Orleans area.

Breakfast and lunch are served daily, and other activities include bingo, card games and birthday celebrations.

Natalie Robottom speaks to seniors who came out to support the opening of the new location, which provides hot meals, transportation and other services to individuals age 60 or older in St. John the Baptist Parish.

Approval and completion of the new building was a long process, but St. John Parish officials make sure to follow through on all commitments, Robottom said.

The $600,000 project was funded through the 2014 bond issue. Duplantis Design Group designed the building, and construction was overseen by LA Contracting Enterprise, LLC.

The building was designed with space and size in mind, according to Project manager Daron Cooper, who said the new location is 3400 square feet, nearly twice the size of the old building.

“The center they were in was very restricted in size, so we went in with the mindset of giving more additional space for activities, gatherings and meetings,” Cooper said.

Duplantis Design Group representative Ashley Webre said the community room, meeting room, full-service kitchen and office area are capable of meeting various needs.

Project manager Daron Cooper talks about construction and design of the new Council on Aging Senior Citizen’s Center. Duplantis Design Group designed the building, and construction was overseen by LA Contracting Enterprise, LLC.

The new location is situated next to the largest park on the West Bank, allowing seniors access to outdoor recreational activities.

St. John Parish Communications Manager Baileigh Rebowe Helm said the outdoor aspect adds to the appeal of the new location.

“The reason this site was chosen is because of its proximity to the park,” Helm said. “Last year, every single park in the parish received upgrades. In the other building, there was no porch or ability to go outside and do recreational and fitness activities.”

Parish officials, the St. John the Baptist Parish Office of Fire Services and the Sheriff’s office are working to construct a new substation safety complex in Wallace.

“The substation will allow emergency responders to have better access to resources and to the residents over here,” Helm said. “The old station will be used for storage.”

For more information about the Edgard Council on Aging Senior Citizen’s Center, visit sjbparish.com or call 985-479-0272.