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The City of New Orleans

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

John P. Lyons Recreation Center


District B
624 Louisiana Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70115 map
Recreation Center (504) 658-3004
Center Manager: Jolene Jeff
Athletics Site Supervisor: Ronald Harness

Mascot: Lions
Colors: Green & Gold

Hours of Operation

Rec Center
Monday through Friday 10am to 9pm
Saturday 9am to 2pm
Sunday Closed 


  • Indoor basketball court
  • Chevron Dance Studio
  • Multi-purpose rooms
  • Multi-purpose field
  • Playground equipment


Team Athletics

For details about team athletics, please click here. 


Activities & Classes

Basketball Free Play - all ages
Monday-Friday 11am-8:30pm
Saturday 9am-1:30pm

Casa Samba
Registration ongoing.  Join the class at any time.
Adults $10 per class; Free for 18 & under and Seniors
Discounts and scholarships available for students over the age 19
Wed & Fri 6-7pm  Capoeira Angola (kids)
Wed & Fri 7-9pm Capoeira Angola (adults)

Adult Exercise with Teddy Harkness
Monday and Wednesday 5:30pm-6:30pm
Drop in anytime on this fun and invigorating and fun class!  Teddy Harkness, the jovial instructor, leads the class through cardio moves and core strengthening exercises.  Participants are encouraged to go at their own pace.   

Piano Lessons 
The registration period is over.
Monday 11:15am-7:15pm
Tuesday 3:15–6:15pm
Friday 11:15am–5pm

NORDC/NOBA Center for Dance

Learn more about the New Orleans Ballet Association here.

After School Dance Classes Sept.- May 15
The registration period is over. For more information about after-school dance classes, please contact Susan Bensinger at  or 504-522-0996, ext. 207.

Ballet Primary Level - Monday and Wednesday 4:30-5:40pm
Ballet Level 1 - Tuesday and Thursday 4:15-5:25pm 
Pre-Professional Ballet Blue - Wednesday 5:45-7pm
Pre-Professional Modern - Saturday 11am-12:45pm
Pre-Professional Ballet Orange - Monday 6-7:30pm; Wednesday 7-8:30pm
Pre-Professional Pointe Orange - Monday 7-8:30pm
Pre-Professional Ballet Purple - Tues & Wed 6:45-8:10pm; Fri 6:15-7:45
Pre-Professional Pointe Purple - Tuesday & Thursday 8:15-9:15pm
Pre-Professional Purple Workshop = Friday 7:50-9:15pm 

Important Dates
March 30 – April 4, 2015: Spring Break, no classes
April 27 – 29, 2015: Spring Open Houses (details TBA)
May 15, 2015: Last day of classes


Senior Dance Fitness ages 55+
Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30am-12:30pm 

Class Description:  Stretching, cardio and dance, fun music, and healthy eating and lifestyle education. Other program features include performance opportunities, access to special master workshops, social events, and $5 tickets to select NOBA Main Stage presentations. 

Details:  Registration ongoing. Start anytime. Blank forms are available from the instructors or
download here external link external link external link. Comfortable dance or exercise attire is recommended.  Bring a yoga or exercise mat. (A few are available to borrow on a first come basis.) Schedule is subject to change. Classes filled on a first come, first served basis. For more information about Senior Dance Fitness, please contact Susan Bensinger at  or 504-522-0996, ext. 207.


Adult Movement ages 18+

September 29, 2014 through May 2015.  Registration is ongoing.  For registration and class details, click here


No experience necessary.  Comfortable dance or exercise attire is recommended.  Learn skills to help focus and calm your mind, improve physical and mental balance, increase core strength and strengthen organs, muscles and joints.  Comfortable dance or exercise attire is recommended. Shoes must be removed prior to entering The Chevron Studio.


Wednesday 10:15-11:15am 
No experience necessary. Comfortable dance or exercise attire is recommended. Shoes must be removed prior to entering The Chevron Studio. Bring a yoga or exercise mat. (A few are available to borrow on a first come, first served basis.)  Transform your mind, energize your body, open your heart and ignite your spirit!  Comfortable dance or exercise attire is recommended. Shoes must be removed prior to entering The Chevron Studio. Bring a yoga or exercise mat. (A few are available to borrow on a first come, first served basis.)


Friday 10:30am-12:00pm
Experience recommended. While there is no specific dress code, we recommend that ladies wear modest dancewear including a leotard, tights (any color) and ballet slippers and gentlemen wear a tee shirt, black tights and black ballet slippers. Shoes must be removed prior to entering The Chevron Studio.A faster paced class for those who are comfortable with ballet curriculum. Students continue to improve technique, expand movement capacity, increase strength and improve flexibility. This class is taught at a professional level, moves through barre and center work, and uses the full range of classical ballet technique. 



The purpose of STEM NOLA is to expose, inspire and engage the community in the opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).  “STEM Saturdays with Dr. Mackie" is one component of STEM NOLA that will provide city wide family and community based hands-on academic each month. details


  • April 11, 2015 - Cutoff Recreation Center
  • May 9, 2015 - Joe Brown Park
  • July 11, 2015 - Lyons Center
  • August 8, 2015 - Treme Center
  • September 12, 2015 - Sanchez Center
  • October 10, 2015 - Cutoff Recreation Center
  • November 14, 2015 - Lyons Center
  • December 12, 2015 - Joe Brown Park


About the Renovation

The John P. Lyons Center, which re-opened on Monday June 3 after a $4.9 million renovation. The Lyons Center has been closed since Hurricane Katrina. This project was assisted by an $115,000 donation by Chevron for a new dance studio and $25,000 from NFL Foundation for a new computer lab as part of the Super Bowl Legacy Project.      


John-Lyons.jpgAbout John P. Lyons
1913 – 1945 (age 31)

by Robert A. Lyons, Jr.
Slidell, Louisiana
May 31, 2013

John Patrick Lyons, Jr. was born on November 11, 1913 on the corner of St. Thomas and Felicity Streets and delivered by a German mid-wife in New Orleans, Louisiana. John is the second son and sixth child of John Patrick Lyons and Margaret Burke Lyons. After John finished grammar school at St. Alphonsus, he attended Jesuit High School, but later graduated from St. Alphonsus High School in 1931. St. Alphonsus later changed to Redemptorist High School (1937 – 1980). In later years the name was changed to Redeemer High School (1980 – 1994) and then moved to Gentilly and merged with Seton Academy (1994 - 2006) to become Redeemer-Seton Academy. Redeemer-Seton was purchased by Holy Cross High School and torn down after significant damage by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The new Holy Cross High School was built on this new location after the old Holy Cross was destroyed by Katrina in the Lower 9th Ward.

John never married and had no children. John worked for Anderson-Clayton as a buyer of cotton and he later worked for the Cotton Exchange as a buyer at the time when he was drafted into the service. At the age of 27, he was drafted in the first selective service on June 19, 1941 before Pearl Harbor. During his time he reached the rank of Technician Fourth Grade (Staff Sergeant). John achieved an enlisted specialist rating entitled to the base pay of a Sergeant, 4th Pay Grade also known as a company clerk. John was Tank Commander of “A” Company of the 85th Armored Regiment, 5th Armored Division, 81st Tank Battalion. His platoon operated an M4 Sherman medium tank.

During the war, two days after winning the battle over the Ruhr River in Belgium John’s unit was heading toward Berlin. During operations on February 25, 1945, John’s unit had platoons out posted in a village towards the southeast near, Boslar, Germany, which had represented the exposed right flank of the Corps. On the 25th, at 1930 hours, Captain McNab, on orders, moved his men to the vicinity of Hottorf, Germany, with the bulldozer at the point, clearing debris on the road as they passed through the town.

It was here where John was killed in action (KIA) against the enemy during a battle when his tank was hit by enemy fire. From here “A” Company continued on straight for Berlin. One month later on March 29, 1945, along with 14 others Tec. 4 John Patrick Lyons was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star.

During the war, John was supposed to meet his brother Patrick, who was also in Europe at that time, but Patrick was killed on October 19, 1944 in Embermenil, France on before their meeting.

In total, 710 soldiers of the 5th Armored Division and its attached units were killed in action or died of wounds received in action, and 2,442 were wounded in action. The division returned to the United States in October 1945 and was inactivated at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, on October 11, 1945. The 5th Armored or “Victory” Division was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Silver Star by the French Government; the Belgium Government Unit Citation. September 9, 1989 the Luxembourg Government awarded the 5th Armored Division the Cross of Honor and of Military Merit.

My grandmother, Margaret Burke Lyons had all four of her sons in the war at the same time. While John was in Germany, Patrick was in France, my father Robert was in Italy and Daniel was in the navy stateside. My mom said that my father and Daniel were pulled out of the war after John and Patrick were both killed. This happened after the five Sullivan brothers were killed on the US Navy ship USS Juneau (CL-52), the vessel on which they all served in World War II, around November 13, 1942. Since then, the U.S. War Department adopted the Sole Survivor Policy. Therefore my father and his younger brother Daniel were pulled out of the war. My mom said he still spent some time overseas but not in the action and was later sent home.

After the war in 1946, the American Legion John & Patrick Lyons Post 336 was founded in New Orleans. In 1950, friends of the family had thought the newly built neighborhood center located at 624 Louisiana Avenue in New Orleans should be named in John’s honor based on his earlier sports career in the city and giving the ultimate sacrifice for his country in WWII. John was a popular local high school star and well-known in the city of New Orleans for his talent. Some friends approached John’s mother, Mrs. Lyons and asked for her blessing for them to pursue the idea of naming the newly built center after John. Thousands of people signed the petitions and later sent them to the mayor's office in pursuit of their request. Chet Morrison, the mayor of New Orleans, had stated he was overwhelmed by the thousands of signatures on the petitions, he readily agreed to the request of the center being named the John P. Lyons Memorial. Later, the Lyons family was contacted by the mayor on the agreement to grant the request of the petitions. Needless to say, the family was elated and the dedication was underway.

I had often wondered why Uncle Patrick's name was never used in the memorial. I later found out from my mother, who attended the first dedication, it was only named after Uncle John because of the notoriety John had built for himself based on his sports career in his younger high school days. She said he was a very popular and well liked person. While his brother Patrick was athletic he was just not known for sports like John. As of today, my mom is the only living relative that was in attendance at the original dedication.

John and his brother Patrick are buried in the Lyons grave on St. Peter Avenue in St. Patrick Cemetery Number 3 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  


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Last updated: 3/27/2015 2:35:01 PM

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