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In the News

New recreation center opens November 30

By Cyndi Sellers

The Hackberry Recreation District and Cameron LNG cut the ribbon Friday, Nov. 30, on a new 9,600 sq. ft. community center, a “legacy gift” from Cameron LNG to the community where its LNG facility is being built.

The state-of-the-art building, fully funded and constructed under the direction of Cameron LNG, features a 4,500 sq. ft. main event room, separate 1,000 sq. ft. activity/meeting room, commercial grade kitchen and appliances, covered unloading and entryway, parking for 130 vehicles, covered and uncovered patios for outdoor events, and outdoor screened-in gathering area.

The entry hall features photo panels of Hackberry’s history. The main event room includes a stage, audio/video, and lighting systems. The activity room also has extensive data connections, a separate restroom and showers, so it can be used as an OEP/FEMA command and control center in the event of a disaster.

Cameron LNG CEO Farhad Ahrabi said the new center is a milestone for the company and a legacy project first proposed at the beginning of the LNG project. “Hackberry’s long history as displayed on the storyboards is not just fishing and hunting,” he said. “Oil and gas put Hackberry on the map in the early 1900s, and now it will be globally known for LNG. One hundred years from now, I hope the next generation looks back and says LNG changed Hackberry for the better.”

Noting the community’s patience with the traffic and overcrowding problems caused by construction of the massive Cameron LNG terminal, Ahrabi promised it will soon get better, saying, “From the bottom of my heart, thank you for accepting us as your guests.”

Cameron Parish Administrator Ryan Bourriaque praised the input and time provided by the Recreation Board in the design of the building and the many additional amenities. “I can’t wait to experience it in a community function,” he said.

Travis Welch, Hackberry Recreation District President, cut the ribbon along with Ahrabi as Cameron LNG COO Dan Cullens, and Project Manager Jamie Gray stood by. Cameron Parish officials and Hackberry residents including Carl Johnson, Calvin Trahan, Lawrence “Butch” Little, and Kenneth Ducote, who were featured in some of the historical photographs, watched and applauded.

Velma Lowry, whose 1989 book “The History of Hackberry, Louisiana” provided the basis of the displays, was surprised to learn that Cameron LNG had re-printed her book in bound volumes, with enhanced photographs, to be given to each of the guests.

The new community center, designed by architect Jeff Kudla and built by contractor Alfred Palma, sits on a 6.7 acre lot on Highway 27 next door to the existing community center. Dwayne Sanner, Director of the Hackberry Recreation District, said the old community center will continue to be rented out for events.

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