City Council reopens renovated chambers tonight

By By Eric Cormier / American Press

It took pretty much the whole summer, but the Lake Charles City Council Chambers are officially decked out in new digs.

Tonight, the chambers will be reopened to the public during the City Council’s agenda meeting at 5:30 p.m.

District C City Council member Rodney Geyen requested that the meeting space be renovated. After seeing the finished product,

he said he is pleased.

“People can come into a nice place in

Lake Charles and talk about business with the city council and other

agencies that use

the chamber,” he said. “Before, the room looked so poor. The seats

were faded. The lighting was poor. It was just unattractive.”

New public seating has been installed, along with new podiums, lighting, television monitors and a speaker system inside and

outside the chambers in order for residents in the halls to hear meeting deliberations. A small meeting area, next door to

the chambers, was also refurbished.

Geyen said handicapped accessible chairs and a media area were also installed in the chambers.

He especially likes the fact that people who attend meetings will be able to see proceedings while standing in the outer halls

after the installation of monitors and glass viewing areas.

“I am pleased. Now, if we have an overflow of audience, people won’t missing anything and will be able to see what is going

on,” Geyen said. “Now, we are taking advantage of the hallways.”

Mayor Randy Roach said the upgrades were overdue.

“Everything that has been done enhances the functionality of the room. It will project a very positive and professional image.”

Last April, the City Council — along

with other city agencies — started conducting meetings at Central School

Arts and Humanities

Center at 809 Kirby St. — when renovation work began.

According to city officials, the construction cost an estimated $200,000.