Community center to offer activities for all ages


Workers this week are readying the Marsha Barbour Resource Center for its grand reopening Feb. 28.

Visitors on that day will be treated to live music, food, games and an invitation to swim in the heated, covered half-Olympic-size pool. A 5K race and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament also are scheduled.

The community center built more than two years ago has gone through management changes and building upgrades while it was closed for a winter hiatus. It is reopening with a focus on families, said Lance Geil, director of operations.

The Marsha Barbour Center is a recreational education center for families in western Harrison and Hancock counties, now managed by the Pass Christian-Delisle Community Center Inc. It was built after Hurricane Katrina with money from several sources, including the Hurricane Recovery Fund, the state Department of Human Services and private donations.

Because it is nonprofit, the center can receive grants for programs. But it must charge membership fees and per-use fees to cover operating costs, Geil said. The fees are nominal and scholarship memberships are available for low-income families, he said.

Geil said the center will have programs for senior citizens, working parents and students from pre-kindergarten to high school.

Cooking classes will be offered in a Viking-equipped kitchen, and there are laptops and fitness equipment in several places so families can gather to exercise and do homework.

A computer lab and fitness gym in a cabin behind the main building gives 24/7 access through a keycard entry, and overlooks the KaBOOM! playground so parents can work out or use the computers and still be near their children.

Parents also can drop off their children if they choose, as the employees monitor the playground. “It’s a safe environment, so they can do that as well,” Geil said.

The center is open 365 days a year and offers after-school camps during the school year as well as summer camps.

Geil believes the biggest draw might be the 25-meter pool, which is heated to 81 degrees. It will be open for members from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day and includes a lift for special-needs residents. From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. the pool will be open for general use as well with a lifeguard on duty, he said. The cost is $3 a day for nonmembers to use the pool.

The center also will offer a variety of classes, including life counseling, GED completion, literacy training, after-school programs, swimming, summer camps, art therapy, and exercise and wellness classes, he said.

The rentable meeting space holds about 200 people and features moveable divider walls and access to the kitchen. 

  • Gallery:MARSHA BARBOUR RESOURCE CENTER | REOPENING FEB. 28 FAMILY ROOM Community center to offer activities for all ages
  • If you go

    @BR Boxtext bold lede colon:What: Grand reopening of the Marsha Barbour Resource Center

    When: 1 p.m. Feb. 28

    Where: 6815 Kiln-Delisle Road, Delisle

    Details: 255-3773

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