Rebuilding community - Sorrento welcomes new communty center

Leslie D. Rose @Editor_Citizen

     SORRENTO – On Nov. 30, the town of Sorrento welcomed its 3432 square feet community center with a dedication ceremony.

     Elected officials, as well as community members were present for the opening, including Sorrento Mayor Mike Lambert and Councilwoman Patti Poche, Parish President Tommy Martinez, Parish President-elect Kenny Matassa and Rep. Johnny Berthelot. 

     Situated on a 16 acre plot of land, the facility boasts a full kitchen and modern finishes, a 405 square feet covered porch area and a medium-sized gathering room.     

     Mayor Mike Lambert said he hopes the community center will allow for the town's very popular, yet defunct, Boucherie Festival to return.

     “For the past couple of years we were not able to have the Festival – there wasn’t a facility,” Lambert said. “It was a big deal to Sorrento – an old tradition that the Lions Club had started in the late 50’s and early 60’s – and we want to get that back and get the community pride back in Sorrento.”

     Lambert said while the Festival is huge for the town, there are other initiatives he would like to see happen in hopes of getting people further involved in the community.

     “We’d like to partner with Ascension Parish Recreation to fully develop the 16 acres that we have here,” he said. “The Town of Sorrento owns this property, and it's a beautiful piece of property, and we hope to develop it into a recreational complex.”

     The community center was built with funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Project (CDBG). The town used some $660 thousand of its $1 million allotment from the CDBG. The rest of the money was used for sewer upgrades.

     “This has been a long time coming,” Parish President Martinez said. “We gave each municipality one million dollars to do projects in the area, Sorrento decided to build a communtiy center. This is just such a great building – a great beginning for the people here.

     Look around, Sorrento is growing, like the rest of the Parish. I just want to commend the mayor and his council on doing such a great job.”

     The center, located at 7471 Main St., will be available for private event rentals beginning Jan. 2016.