• New DA building offers security, comfort and controversy
    Plaquemines District Attorney Charles Ballay stands in his personal office at the new District Attorney’s Building at the Plaquemines Government Complex in Belle Chasse. The grand opening for the long-sought, long-debated new building was held Aug. 14.
  • New DA building offers security, comfort and controversy
    The main conference room at the new DA building features a cypress table that used wood from wetlands near Buras. The building has several conference rooms, each featuring large televisions for presentations, including an interactive promethean board in o
  • New DA building offers security, comfort and controversy
    District Attorney Charles Ballay explains the children’s room at the new Plaquemines DA building, where young children can be interviewed in a comforting environment or play while a parent or guardian is speaking to DA staff.
  • New DA building offers security, comfort and controversy
    The new DA building features floor-to-ceiling sliding doors on many offices. Glass walls promote a communal atmosphere and better lighting at less cost than drywall.

New DA building offers security, comfort and controversy

Since the old Pointe a la Hache Courthouse burned in 2002, the District Attorney’s Office for the 25th Judicial District has been on a journey to find a permanent home. That journey officially came to an end Aug. 14 after a yearslong fight and controversy that isn’t going away any time soon.

Current Plaquemines District Attorney Charles Ballay, who is finishing his second six-year term this year, is the DA that fought to get his office into Building 201 at the Plaquemines Government Complex in Belle Chasse. The approach to that building began in 2015 after the Parish Council approved plans to move the DA’s Office from a flood-prone, condemned building with only one operational restroom. It culminated with the cutting of a red ribbon, complete with giant scissors, at the Aug. 14 grand opening ceremony.

The interior of the DA’s new 13,000-square-foot building is certainly modern, but hardly decadent. An artsy, suspended halo fixture lights the lobby for visitors, where receptionists sit securely behind thick plexiglass.

“We have to be ready for anything,” says Ballay as he walks through the lobby, noting that the glass now protects his receptionists from inadvertent coronavirus droplets as much as more conventional projectiles.

 

 

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Plaquemines Gazette

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Belle Chasse, LA 70037
Phone: 504-392-1619
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