Port Wonder

$20+ million lakefront project proposal announced

Local and state officials gathered Thursday to announce Port Wonder, a $20 million-plus lakefront development project that will include an educational and entertainment facility designed to attract visitors to Lake Charles.

The venue — located between Cypress Alligator Pond and the former Harrah’s Casino parking garage — will house the Children’s Museum of Lake Charles and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Science Center and Educational Complex.

“Now is the time for a catalyst that will transform the look of our lakefront that will provide a new, iconic welcome sign to our city,” said Mayor Nic Hunter. “This will be a game changer for locals (and) tourism.”

The project also calls for completely renovating the parking garage and other site improvements, Hunter said. The city owns the property, which has remained largely unchanged since Hurricane Rita’s 2005 landfall.

Hunter said he expects the project to be fully funded, subject to final approval by the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group of the science center and educational complex’s location and design changes. He said the project is being funded through a combination of public and private dollars and will not require any new tax propositions.

City Council President Mark Eckard said the development will improve the first impression for those driving along Interstate 10.

State Sen. Ronnie Johns, R-Sulphur, said Gov. John Bel Edwards and Jack Montoucet, state wildlife and fisheries secretary, have been on board with the project “since day one.”

“This is a perfect example of what can happen when you bring state government, local governing authorities and private business together to make something happen,” Johns said.

Bart Yakupzak, wildlife and fisheries commissioner, said the facility could influence young people to pursue a career as a biologist.

Monti Lloyd, with the children’s museum board of directors, said the development will help fund more exhibits and programs.

“This proposal will enable us to develop a larger venue than we could have done independently,” she said.””

Port Wonder is a proposed educational and entertainment venue to be located on the north shore of Lake Charles, in between the Cypress Alligator Pond and the former Harrah’s parking garage on city-owned property. The $20-plus million lakefront project was announced by Mayor Nic Hunter and other local and state officials on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018.

Special to the American Press””

Port Wonder is a proposed educational and entertainment venue to be located on the north shore of Lake Charles, in between the Cypress Alligator Pond and the former Harrah’s parking garage on city-owned property.

Special to the American Press””

A rendering of the proposed science center announced at Thursday’s press conference.

Local News

BREAKING: Superintendent LaFargue announces retirement

Business

VIDEO: LNG Center ‘an amazing feather in LC’s cap’

Crime

Driver sought in hit-and-run on You Winn Road

Business

VIDEO: LNG Center of Excellence groundbreaking

life

On Campus: SW La. students recognized for achievements

McNeese Sports

Sanders, Landreneau lead honors

life

Residents unhappy about condition of MLK park

Business

Launching Point: Three entrepreneurs share how the Business Incubator helped position them for success

Crime

5/6: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

It’s Hurricane Preparedness Week: Know the ‘Three P’s’ of readiness

Local News

Police Jury launches Calcasieu opioid survey

Crime

Trump fined $1,000 for gag order violation in hush money case as judge warns of possible jail time

McNeese Sports

Cowboys go island stomping

Business

Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

Local News

PHOTO GALLERY: Welsh-Roanoke 8th-graders explore future careers

McNeese Sports

Cowgirls sweep SLU

McNeese Sports

Cowboys take Island series

Local News

VIDEO: Fairview Elementary Culture Day

Local News

Meet Your Neighbor: Robert Brevelle to head La. Genealogical and Historical Society

Local News

PHOTOS: Fairview Elementary Culture Day

Local News

House OKs bill to make it easier for companies to cancel home insurance policies

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Landry setbacks positive gains

Local News

Mick Jagger wades into politics, taking verbal jab at Louisiana state governor at performance

Local News

Geymann’s three carbon capture bills move through committee