Sports

Central BREC Sports Park: What to Expect

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By Dave Freneaux

    Officials from BREC addressed Tuesday night’s Central Community Alliance meeting and explained the timeline for completion of the new Sports Park between Hooper, Joor & Lovett Roads.  The Master Plan for the facility shows that the project, when complete, will include seven baseball/softball fields, two soccer fields and one multi-use field.  There will also be a lake with a walking trail, parking lots, restrooms, concessions and nature trails.  The entire project is estimated to cost $7.2 million.  Currently only $3.6 million is available for the project.  Ted Jack of BREC explained that the infrastructure for the entire park must be completed first, bringing in electrical and plumbing as well as digging the lake so that the dirt can be used for constructing ball fields.  When pressed for a rough estimate of what current funding will allow to be built, Mr. Jack estimated that most of the infrastructure, the lake and walking trails, about half of the parking lots and three of the ball fields could be built.  In about six weeks bids will be opened for much of the work and BREC can then give a more accurate estimate of what will be built in this phase.  The portions of the map in green represent one interpretation of Mr. Jack’s estimates.

    There is a perception amongst the people in Central that the “Master Plan” for this project will all be completed over the next year or so.  That is most certainly not the case.  In discussions with BREC and with Representative Bodi White it is clear that this project will be completed in phases, much like the ball complex at Oak Villa.  In order to move forward from what the $3.6 million first phase will build, funding will have to be pushed for on all fronts.  Representatives Clif Richardson & Bodi White have successfully gained the cooperation of the Capital Region Delegation to request, as its top priority, $1 million in State funds dedicated to Parks & Recreation.  Whether this funding is granted should be known in late June.  After the CCA meeting BREC officials commented that they are hopeful additional funding can be obtained to move the Sports Park toward completion, but that no promises can be made.  While everyone involved would like to see the project completed soon, it is possible that completion may be five or more years away.

    Metro Council Member Scott Wilson also spoke on several topics at the CCA meeting.  One issue he addressed was his effort to effect changes in the BREC Board structure which would create three permanent seats on the BREC Board, one each for Central, Zachary & Baker.  It is hoped that with a permanent presence on the Board this area of the Parish can receive a fair share of BREC support and funding.  Currently one BREC Board Member, Bert Neal, is a resident of Central, but that seat on the Board is not guaranteed to a Central representative.

5 Comments

  1. Another Central resident

    March 17, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Same BS as always from BREC. Another project that will be done halfa$$ in the parish of East Baton Rouge. All funding should have been in place before the first shovel was put in the ground. I promise you BREC will build this first phase and quit after that is complete.

  2. ash

    March 17, 2011 at 11:50 am

    where’s the map?

    • dave

      March 17, 2011 at 12:01 pm

      We are having issues loading the map on the website. Hopefully it will be up this afternoon.

  3. Lewis Bagot

    March 18, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    We need a City of Central Recreation and Park Commission (not BREC). Keep our money at home and build our own recreation/park facilities.
    BREC has been spending most of our moeny on parks in Baton Rouge, NOT CENTRAL. The proof of the pudding is in the pie ! Check on BREC money spent in the City of Baton Rouge to money they spend in the City of Central. A job isn’t complete until finished.

  4. Nancy

    March 22, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Would like to know why Central BREC Sports Park does not include an excercise gym like the one on N Sherwood Forest. Why all the ballfields. We already have ball fields at Lovett Rd. Park. What a bummer.

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