NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu was joined by Dell Demps, General Manager of the New Orleans Hornets to reopen Sam Bonart Playground at 1200 Forstall Street in the Lower Ninth Ward. This newly refurbished park was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and represents one of Mayor Landrieu’s 100 Committed Projects. The renovation cost $473,915 with funding coming from FEMA public assistance, City bond funds, the New Orleans Hornets, and Salvation Army.
“The repairs to Sam Bonart Playground are another sign of renewal for the Lower Ninth Ward community,” Mayor Landrieu said. “As one of my Administration’s 100 committed capital projects, this park will once again be an important gathering place for young and old alike. I also want to thank the New Orleans Hornets and the Salvation Army for their commitment to help restoring the basketball shelter. Through strong partnerships, we are building the city we always knew we could be.”
This park’s restorations include renovation of the concession building, improvements to the pool building and replacement of the basketball posts, backstops and hoops. The basketball shelter and courts were also repainted.
“We’re proud to unveil this new court with Salvation Army as a part of the reopening of Sam Bonart Playground,” said Hornets Owner Tom Benson. “This park will provide the neighborhood with a beautiful place for kids to play and come together and enjoy the game of basketball, while also learning teamwork and leadership skills.”
"On behalf of The Salvation Army of New Orleans it is a great pleasure to work with the Hornets Organization in providing not only a means of recreation, but also a means of developing leadership and motivation for the young people that will be using the basketball court at Sam Bonart,” said Salvation Army Major William Owens.
FEMA’s Louisiana Recovery Office Deputy Director of Programs Andre Cadogan said, “Congratulations to the City of New Orleans, and particularly the Lower Ninth Ward community, on the opening of their Sam Bonart Playground. This playground serves as yet another wholesome and fun opportunity, aimed at engaging New Orleans’ youth in recreational activities.”
New Orleans Recreation Development Commission CEO Vic Richard said, “Today’s reopening of Sam Bonart Playground is another shining example of the great work that is being done in this city and how powerful partnerships can be. We are thankful for the help of FEMA, the Hornets and the Salvation Army in bringing this jewel of the Lower 9th ward back into commerce.”
Deputy Mayor of Facilities, Infrastructure, and Community Development Cedric Grant said, “Sam Bonart Playground and Pool is an important anchor for the Lower Ninth Ward. This is a place where young people can feel safe and focus on their future.”