Officials announce $20 million lake front development project

Port Wonder, a $20 million-plus lakefront development project, was announced by local and state officials on Thursday.

Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter said the development will include an educational and entertainment facility designed to attract visitors to the city. It 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,” he said. “This will be a game changer for locals (and) tourism.”

The venue will be located between Cypress Alligator Pond and the former Harrah’s Casino parking garage, which is set to be renovated under the proposal.

The city owns the property, which has remained dormant since Hurricane Rita’s 2005 landfall.

Hunter 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 change the first impression for those traveling 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.”

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For <strong>more information</strong> see Friday’s edition of the American Press.””<p>A rendering of the proposed science center announced at Thursday’s press conference.</p>

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