The first pilings were driven today as the Meraux Foundation began work on a new addition to Docville. The building marks the latest enhancement to the 130 acre complex that the foundation established as a center for culture and learning. Once complete in the fall of 2014, the Arlene Meraux River Observation Center will host charitable programs that promote the Foundation’s mission of improving St. Bernard Parish for the entire community.
“We have been planning this latest development for a long time, said Rita Gue, president of the Foundation’s board of directors. “The new building will provide additional space at Docville where we can expand our programs and events.”
The new community activity center is named after Arlene Meraux, who established the Meraux Foundation as a private nonprofit organization to make strategic, long-term improvements to St. Bernard Parish.
“We are honored to name the building after my aunt,” Gue continued. “She would be so happy with the progress we are making to bring her vision to life and to make St. Bernard the best place it can be.”
Docville is a historic property named after Dr. Louis “Doc” Meraux, which stretches from the Mississippi River to Lake Borgne. After the 2005 hurricanes, the foundation resurrected a barn on the Docville complex to host communityevents, such as Blues in Da Parish, Calling it Home, and Twilight Concerts.
The building will compliment the Docville aesthetic while adding a new twist to the traditional farmhouse style.
“We wanted to create a space that is on par with the cutting-edge facilities you see in other cities – St. Bernard deserves it!” said Gue.
The new center will feature an open-concept ground floor that can accommodate large events and meetings. Upper floors will be able to house smaller meeting spaces, offices, and storage areas.
The community activity center is part of a dynamic strategy that the MerauxFamily Foundation is implementing to build a stronger community in St. Bernard Parish.
“The Meraux Family Foundation has brought to fruition Arlene’s desire to make a transformative difference in the lives of the people of St. Bernard,” said Charles Cassar, coordinator of cultural arts for St. Bernard Parish Schools.