DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) - It was American's first Off Base USO, but as time passed the facility transformed into the Historic War Memorial Civic Center in DeRidder.
Monday the center showcased some of it's recent renovations to the public.
It's been two years since retired Army Sergeant Major Paul Cadore has stepped inside the Historic War Memorial Civic Center in DeRidder.
"It's outstanding all the artifacts from World War II," he said.
For the last four years, the center has been undergoing renovations.
"In the entire facility we've replaced all of the lightings," said the director, Faith Scott. "We've replaced all of the ceiling tiles in the auditorium, we're replaced the stage curtain, (and) added chandeliers and sconces."
The center also installed a drop-down screen, replaced the wallpaper, flooring, and upgraded their bathrooms.
Scott says the renovations cost close to $100,000 but was paid for through money collected from a special mileage tax.
And while Cadore understands the value this building holds, Scott hopes with the new changes others in the area will see it too.
"I want them to able to first be able to come in and feel like they're going back in time, and look at all the historic artifacts that are here," said Scott. "I want them to be able to take away a sense of pride to know that this building is located in DeRidder."
"Until they come and see and take ownership, they just don't realize that they're such great history right here in our backyard," said Cadore.
Scott says their next project will be fixing the stage dressing rooms and floor lights.
For more information about the center, click HERE.