BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — The future of the the Jewel J. Newman Community Center is still uncertain, but Monday evening people living in Scotlandville got a chance to hear about a plan to help build up the community center's advisory board. Part of the center was shut down after an inspection by the state fire marshall pointed out multiple violations and "safety" concerns. Meanwhile community members have noticed tension between the leadership at the center and Metro Council Member Chauna Banks-Daniel. Now Scottlandville residents who attended the meeting are hoping the board can bring the community back together after weeks of controversy.
"Lets get together as people who know each other and work this thing out in an amicable way," Admon R. McCastle, advisory board applicant, said. "I think that's the tune of the community right now."
McCastle wants the focus to shift back to the community center and the people who use it.
"(Before) people wanted to come see it. People wanted to be a part of it," He said. "There has not been a total commitment from both persons who are responsible up at the top."
McCastle is not alone.
"There is a need for additional services, and I feel the center can provide additional services," Rosa Harris Williams, board applicant, said.
Metro Councilwoman Chauna Banks-Daniel told the crowd at the special meeting at the Scotlandville branch library Monday she is trying to build up the community center advisory board.
"We are really interested in the decline of revenue over the years other than one major tenant. We also want to expand in the areas of customer service and also make the center the place where it is the center of community," Banks-Daniel said.
Banks-Daniel said once members are chosen the board will help decide on a new direction for the Jewel J. Newman Community Center.
She created a survey to find out what the community wants and needs from it's center. She said the board will use those result as a guide.
McCastle said it's a step in the right direction: "I think the board will be able to settle this thing down and get it on the right track."
Banks-Daniel said the deadline to apply for the Jewel J. Newman Community Center Advisory Board is Tuesday October 1 at 5:00 pm. Applications can be dropped off at the community center. Banks-Daniel said applicants will be notified by Friday if they made the board.