Children from the New Orleans area splashed and cheered yesterday afternoon as Mayor Mitch Landrieu jumped in the pool at the Stallings Gentilly Playground to celebrate the opening of 13 city-operated pools and the start of the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission 2014 summer programming.
Before his dip, Landrieu said the city and the commission have partnered to hold aquatic programs for youth throughout the city this summer. Mayor Landrieu said that he and NORDC have hopes of getting 7,700 children in the local pools and teaching them how to swim.
Mayor Landrieu also said that programs have expanded with 41 summer camps serving 4,000 youth, each creating summer jobs.
Entergy, Chevron, Boh Brothers, and the American Red Cross are partners in funding for NORDC programming. Officials from each company thanked NORDC and Mayor Landrieu for the opportunity to work together and provide for New Orleans youth.
“This is a wonderful event for our city and it really holds many memories for our New Orleans Entergy employees from here as children. We really appreciate the support off all our partners and look forward to our ongoing partnership with NORDC,” said Yolanda Pollard of Entergy.
Vic Richard, CEO of NORDC, also thanked Mayor Landrieu and the companies for their support.
“Thank you for your leadership and putting us in the position we are in,” Richard said.
“We have a lot to be proud of,” Richard said.
The opening of the swimming pools has expanded from eight to 13 since summer 2010. In addition, this summer the pools will stay open until August 10, two weeks longer than last year.
Christine Aguirre of NORDC said that they wanted to serve the community better by opening up as many facilities as they could this summer and extending the schedule. Aguirre also said that NORDC is very fortunate to have such an amazing relationship with Mayor Landrieu for the start of the summer programs.
“To have that much support for a recreation department, it’s very unique to the city of New Orleans. Not everybody has such a great relationship with their mayor so we are truly blessed to have his support and blessings for our programs,” Aguirre said.
Mayor Landrieu said that he wants the relationship with NORDC to grow even stronger.
“We will continue the momentum as we work to make NORDC the best recreation department in the country.”
One New Orleans woman in attendance said that she was happy to see the pool open for the New Orleans youth and recalls when she came to the pool as a child.
“I’ve been swimming in this pool since I was eight years old. I’m 53 and still coming here,” she said.After addressing the crowd, Mayor Landrieu was cheerful and eager to get in the pool with the children.
“Ya’ll ready to go swimming?” Mayor Landrieu asked the children as he left the podium.
He changed out of his button up and slacks and into his swim trunks for a little time in the pool while out of his office for the afternoon.
The 13 pools that will be city-operated for summer 2014 are:
- Harrell Center Pool, 2202 Leonidas St.: Mon-Fri 9am-12noon and 1-5pm; Sat 9am-4pm; Sun closed.
- A.L. Davis Pool, 2600 La Salle St.: Mon-Fri 9am-12noon and 1-6pm; Sat 9am-4pm; Sun 2-6pm.
- Lyons Pool, 624 Louisiana Ave.: Mon-Fri 8am-6pm; Sat 9am-4pm; Sun 2-6pm
- Taylor Pool , 2600 S. Roman St.: Mon-Fri 9am-12noon and 1-6pm; Sat 9am-4pm; Sun 2-6pm
- Whitney Young Pool , 6500 Magazine St.: Mon-Fri 9am-12noon and 1-6pm; Sat 9am-4pm; Sun 2-6pm
- Behrman Pool, 2529 General Meyer Ave.: Mon-Fri 8am-6pm; Sat 9am-4pm; Sun 2-6pm
- Lemann Pool, 536 N. Prieur St.: Mon-Fri 9am-12noon and 1-5pm; Sat 9am-4pm; Sun closed.
- Treme Pool (indoor), 900 N. Villere St.: Mon-Fri 8am-7pm; Sat 9am-4pm; Sun 2-6pm
- Sampson Pool , 3100 Louisa St.: Mon-Fri 9am-12noon and 1-5pm; Sat 9am-4pm; Sun closed.
- St. Bernard Pool , 1500 Lafreniere St.: Mon-Fri 9am-12noon and 1-6pm; Sat 9am-4pm; Sun 2-6pm.
- Stallings Gentilly Pool, 1600 Gentilly Blvd.: Mon-Fri 8am-6pm; Sat 9am-4pm; Sun 2-6pm.
- Joe W. Brown Pool (indoor), 5601 Read Blvd.: Mon-Fri 8am-6pm; Sat 9am-4pm; Sun 2-6pm.
- Sam Bonart Pool , 1200 Forstall St.: Mon-Fri 9am-12noon and 1-6pm; Sat 9am-4pm; Sun 2-6pm.