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Future of Purple Heart Recreation Center unclear

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 8:02 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Purple Heart Recreation Center has been closed for over a year, and the City of Lake Charles said the building’s future is unclear. But one local resident, who considers it a monument, is hoping it will open once again.

“I started asking questions whenever it didn’t open and other gyms was open,” Lake Charles resident Jeremy Miller said.

There are 213 structures owned by the City of Lake Charles, and according to the city, Hurricane Laura caused damage to every one of them.

The Purple Heart Recreation Center sustained roof damage during Hurricane Laura and now sits vacant awaiting its future.

“This is not a need for the area, it’s an industrial area. But my source told me that it wouldn’t be sold and it would be turned into a police academy,” Miller claims this is what the city told him after he reached out.

Miller even started a petition in hopes to see the rec center make its return.

“This is a huge staple for the community - not only for me, but for many others,” Miller said. “Many other pro athletes, many other people that work in the financial department, the fire department. You know, for the community as a whole, for the whole metro town, the whole metro city, you know, it’s a big part. And nobody wants to see it go.”

Statement from City Administrator John Cardone regarding the status of the Purple Heart Recreation Center:

“No final decision has been made as to the future of Purple Heart Recreation Center. No item regarding this structure or its usage has been prepared to bring forward to the City Council for a vote. Purple Heart Recreation Center is not slated for demolition.

Hurricane Laura caused damage to every one of the City of Lake Charles’ 213 structures. The level of damage varies from minor to complete losses on several.

As part of the rebuilding process, City staff has been assessing the condition of buildings and their most effective uses.

We understand and are sympathetic to our citizens concerns regarding this property and are committed to finding a long-term solution that will take into consideration all opinions and allow all voices to be heard.”

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