Gert Town Natatorium serves the City of New Orleans

A great GraceHebert project to support the local community in New Orleans.

Gert Town gets a new indoor pool, NOPD station

October 12, 2018

A new indoor public pool and police station have opened next to each other in Gert Town, according to a news release sent Thursday (Oct. 11) by Mayor LaToya Cantrell's office. Officials say the two facilities will go hand-in-hand, offering first-responders a chance to conduct water safety and rescue training as well as draw local youth closer to law enforcement.

The new pool and police station are on Broadway Street between Olive and Edinburgh streets. Both were paid for with a combination of Federal Emergency Management Agency money and bonds from the city and the state's Homeland Security office. The pool was estimated to cost nearly $8 million and the police station pegged at $8.3 million, according to the mayor's office.

Started during former Mayor Mitch Landrieu's tenure, the new Gert Town Natatorium replaces the old dome-topped Gert Town Swimming Pool at 7400 Stroelitz St. near Lowerline Street, which opened in 1980 for residents and students at nearby Xavier University. Severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the pool sat closed and abandoned for years until 2011, when the city demolished it with FEMA's approval.

The 15,000 square-foot New Orleans Recreation Development Commission natatorium includes a 25-yard long, six-lane pool with depths ranging from 3 feet to 10 feet, according to the mayor's office. The 17,000 square-foot New Orleans Police Department station will serve as 2nd District headquarters and includes a conference room that will also host community meetings.

In Thursday's news release, city officials and local community leaders praised the new facilities as upgrades for each individual department and a joint benefit for public safety and recreation.

"This is a great opportunity for locals to interface with NOPD in a more relaxed, comfortable environment to show the city and the state what community can look like," Robert McKnight, co-founder of the Together Gert Town Neighborhood Association, said.