[StBernard] Work begins on new visitor's center at Chalmette Battlefield
westley at da-parish.com
Thu Nov 19 21:44:33 EST 2009
Work begins on new visitor's center at Chalmette Battlefield
By Bob Warren, The Times-Picayune
November 19, 2009, 10:15AM
Construction has begun on the new visitor's center at Chalmette Battlefield,
A host of dignitaries gathered last week to break ground on the new center,
which will twice as large as the park's visitor's center that was destroyed
by flooding during Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.
In addition to the visitor's center, Katrina everely damaged many other
structures at the battlefield and adjoining national cemetery. A temporary
visitor center has been in place since fall 2006. The new visitor center
will help explain the story of the Battle of New Orleans and its affect on
world history through displays, interactive exhibits, and films. The new
center is expected to open in fall 2010.
"The park staff and this community have made do with temporary and
inadequate structures at the battlefield for several years now," said Carol
Clark, superintendent of Jean Lafitte National Park, of which Chalmette
Battlefied is a component. "Now we can all look forward to a new visitor
center which will be more welcoming and contain more exhibit space to
enhance the experiences of park visitors."
Gee Cee Construction Co. of New Orleans is building the new center, which
will cost just under $4 million. It will be 3,500 square feet, park
officials have said.
Officials hope to open the new center next fall.
The National Park Service says the Battle of New Orleans, fought in January
of 1815, was the greatest American land victory in the War of 1812.
The park will remain open - although some its roads are closed - through the
construction. The battlefield had 55,000 visitors in 2008, about a third
less than the average pre-Katrina year, officials have said.
For more information, call 504.589.2636 ext. 1 or visit www.nps.gov/jela
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