Council on Aging building rededicated

Allison B. Hudson

The Council on Aging building in Donaldsonville recently reopened its doors in January since the staff and elders were displaced since Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Ike in Sept. 2008.

“The city council were very instrumental and patient with us during this long awaited process, and we thank them for it,” says Darlene Schexnayder, Executive Director of Council on Aging.

The damage of Hurricane Gustav did damage to the roof of the building. After damage was assessed, contractors came in to put a tarp up for temporary use. Then a week later Hurricane Ike added to the devastation and blew the tarp off, and that's when the building became more damaged.

"We were working out of the Lemann Center, and we are truly grateful for being able to occupy it for so long," she said.

“Ain’t it good to be back home again,” said Parish President Tommy Martinez. He spoke about the trying experience of just piecing things back together after a natural disaster. He congratulated Schexnayder and her staff for a job well done.

Many came out for the rededication of the building, and elders were joyful that they could return to a place they call home.

Mayor Leroy Sullivan recalled the book of Ecclesiastics in the bible. He said that particular book speaks about getting old. He recalled when Schexnayder asked him if they could move operations to the Lemann Center after Gustav. “It was a no brainer for me, and the council as well,” he said. 

“I don’t think anyone hesitated for them to use the center, we were grateful for them, especially having known many of the elders as a child,” he added.

Parish Councilman Oliver Joseph said he was glad to see all the seniors who came out for the rededication. “Over the past year we heard your voices and we got you all back home,” he said.