Castine Center improvements will expand the types of events the venue can hold | St. Tammany community news
, 2022-09-10 06:30:00,
Like many 20-something year old structures that have completely dodged renovation, the Castine Center at Pelican Park near Mandeville needed a face-lift.
Thanks to a $2.7 million upgrade, the largest events center in St. Tammany Parish is beginning to look very good for its age.
Workers are currently putting the finishing touches on a public project at the Castine Center that includes the addition of a 3,500-square-foot outdoor courtyard, new flooring and sound attenuation, as well as more office and storage space.
Upgraded restrooms, improved concourse lighting and an enhanced port cochere at the front of the building featuring a fountain, landscaping and a bronze pelican statue are also part of the restoration.
Residents will have a chance to get a close up look at the improvements during the Oct. 1 “grand reopening” of the complex, which is a centerpiece of the 550-acre public park just east of Mandeville.
The event will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will include a tour of the new sections and light refreshments. The Covington Concert Band will then perform from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
The Castine Center and Pelican Park are operated by the Recreation District 1, a free-standing agency governed by a seven-member administrative board. Although established by St. Tammany Parish, the district is not a part of the state, parish or municipal governments. It is funded by a property tax paid by residents living in the district, which includes Mandeville and surrounding areas.
Rick Danielson, a member of the administrative board and a Mandeville City Council member, said the Castine Center renovation project is another step in the facility’s evolution from a basic, multipurpose building that functioned primarily as a gymnasium into a premier events venue that remains versatile enough to serve its original purpose.
“The overall look to people driving up will be very nice, very much improved,” Danielsson said. “It’ll be a major difference, and we’re super excited about it.”
The outdoor courtyard, with cafe lighting and a small stage, will be an ideal space for special events, he said. And acoustic panels have been installed inside the building make it much better…
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