NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, City and State officials, and FEMA reopened the newly renovated St. Roch Park located at 1800 St. Roch Avenue. This $1.8 million project restored the existing park which was damaged during Hurricane Katrina. St. Roch Park originally opened in 1910 and is the third oldest playground in the city.
“St. Roch Park is one of our city’s oldest and most historic parks and has served as an important gathering place for generations,” Mayor Landrieu said. “As one of my administration’s committed capital projects, this newly renovated park will further anchor redevelopment and revitalization of the St. Roch neighborhood. Together with the completed St. Roch Art Walk and soon to be renovated St. Roch Market, we are building the city we always knew we could be.”
St. Roch Park’s restoration includes a new baseball field, resurfaced basketball court, repairs to the fences and gates, upgrades to the restroom facilities and concession stand, and a new brick plaza that will cross the width of the playground which will include benches and picnic tables.
District C Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer said, “I am thrilled that this park will continue to be a resource for the community and especially for our children. Even before these renovations started, St. Roch Park, or Sampson Playground as many of us know it, has been teeming with energy and activities for our kids due to the hard work of coaches, families and volunteers. Today carries on that history and shows that the neighborhood and City leaders remain committed to finding additional resources to build the pool. This ribbon cutting marks one more step forward in the ongoing revitalization of St. Roch. With assets like this park, the market, the art walk and the greatest asset of all, the people of this neighborhood, St. Roch has a bright future.”
City Council President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, “St. Roch has been our most patient neighborhood. They have had to do so much for themselves! So it’s an added privilege to finally complete something for them!”
District D Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell said, “St. Roch Park is so important to the community, which has really pulled together to make this happen. The park sits on the border of Districts C and D, serving all the residents of the St. Roch neighborhood. I’m excited about St. Roch’s progress with the Market, Art Walk and now the park, and I look forward to more great things to come.”
New Orleans Recreation Development Commission CEO Vic Richard said, “I am excited about the new and improved St. Roch Park. This space has been an anchor of this community for a long time and it’s a pleasure to be able to invest in this neighborhood and the lives of those who live here. As we continue to bring old parks back into commerce and build new facilities to serve our children and families, we are making strides to becoming a model recreation department for the country.”
Deputy Mayor of Facilities, Infrastructure, and Community Development Cedric Grant said, “St. Roch Park is once again open to the public. Parks and playgrounds are central to the City’s place-based development strategy and serve as important gathering places for the neighborhoods.”
Funding for this $1.8 million project came from FEMA public assistance, Disaster Community Development Block Grant (D-CDBG) funds, and City Bond funds. This project was designed by Lee Ledbetter of New Orleans and constructed by Crescent Commercial Construction. Perle Construction and Boines Construction & Equipment served as DBEs on the project.
Andre Cadogan, Deputy Director of Programs for the FEMA Louisiana Recovery Office said, “Congratulations to the city of New Orleans on the reopening of St. Roch Park. This facility will provide valuable recreational space for local youth and serve as a meeting place for community members. As the city moves toward a full recovery, FEMA remains committed to its state and local recovery partners.”
Pat Forbes, Executive Director of the Louisiana Office of Community Development said, “Neighborhood parks are critical to revitalizing communities and bringing people back home. They enhance the quality of neighborhoods and the quality of life of residents by providing playgrounds for children, green space for sports and activities for senior citizens. Along with the St. Roch Market and St. Roch Art Walk, these improvements to the St. Roch Park are part of more than $3.5 million in disaster recovery Community Development Block Grant funds the state has invested in the quality of life of this neighborhood.”