Park Improvements

Construction News

Friday, December 30, 2016

BREC Construction Invests Over $35 Million in the Local Economy in 2016

From groundbreakings to grand openings, 2016 was a banner year for new additions at BREC. BREC held ribbon cuttings and grand openings for dozens of new amenities all over East Baton Rouge Parish and broke ground on many more projects that will open in the coming year.


Patrons will find new playgrounds, basketball courts, splash pads, exercise stations, drinking fountains, landscaping, bike racks, walking trails and more. In 2016, BREC has taken its park and facility qualities to higher levels. We have improved connectivity paths and entryways, renovated picnic shelters and play area equipment, and upgraded sidewalks and restroom facilities.


This year BREC opened five new playgrounds, including a Mega Tower play area three stories high at Zachary Community Park and smaller play areas at Spanish Town, T. D. Bickham, Saia and Old Hammond Hwy. Parks. Zachary Community Park also has BREC’s newest splash pad, which brings the system’s total to seven. This year we also broke ground on BREC’s eighth splash pad that will open next year at North Sherwood Forest Community Park. We also opened a new visitors center, featuring 60-seat auditorium, gift shop and event and meeting room at Magnolia Mound.


At Saia Park you will find new murals celebrating the international arts and culture and a unique disc golf course at Scotlandville Park designed and partially constructed by a professional disc golf organization. You will find new connectivity trails at River Bend Park, Expressway Park, Perkins Road Community Park and Pennington Biomedical Center. The phase three expansion of Central Sports Park was completed and the park has new facilities and scoreboards and a major lighting project was completed at Expressway Park.


In total BREC invested more than $35 million in 2016 into the East Baton Rouge Parish community on new and ongoing construction projects. These projects include those contracted and those done in house with BREC’s Capital Improvements Team. Many of these projects were completed in 2016 and the remainder are expected to open in 2017.


BREC Project

Contracted Amount

(Does not include BREC projects done in house.)

Beaver Creek Golf Course Pavilion


Independence Community Park Playground


Greenwood Community Park Pedestrian Bridge


Santa Maria Playground

$165,000 (includes private funding)

Independence Botanic Gardens Phase 1


Farr Park & Equestrian Center Sewer


Jefferson Hwy Park Asphalt


Howell Community Park Phase 1


CAPP Siegen Extension Segment


Independence Recreation Center Parking


Gus Young Recreation Center


Forest Community Park Recreation Center


North Sherwood Forest Community Park Site


Baker Recreation Center


Antioch Recreation Center


Kathy Drive Site


Liberty Lagoon Phase 2


Burbank Multi-use Fields


Knock Knock Children’s Museum

$6,478,755 (includes private funding)

Expressway Field Lighting


Zoo Asphalt & Drainage


Womack Administration Building Renovations


Oak Villa Irrigation


Central Sports Park Phase 3


Perkins Road Drainage


Zachary Community Park Splash Pad


Jefferson Hwy. Recreation Center


CAPP Pennington Trail


J. Watson Airnasium


Church Street Site


CAPP Perkins Trail


Anna T. Jordan Recreation Center


Zachary Community Park Play Area


Jefferson Hwy. Site


Magnolia Mound Visitors Center

$1,677,513 (includes private funding)


“BREC’s top priority is using the tax dollars entrusted to our agency wisely, and investing them in facilities and programs that make our community healthier and more vibrant for residents and visitors,” said BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight. “The projects we opened to the public in 2016, and look forward to opening in 2017, will have a positive impact on every area of our parish and I am proud to say that despite the Flood of 2016, we were able to make substantial progress on our goal of creating a more modern and innovative park system. We are working  with FEMA to ensure that we can renovate and reopen facilities damaged by the high waters as quickly as possible,” said McKnight.  


BREC promises more exciting things to come in 2017 as we broke ground on projects all across the parish. This past spring, we broke ground on phase two projects at Liberty Lagoon waterpark. Opening in the summer of 2017, Liberty Lagoon will increase the maximum capacity of the park from 600 to 900 visitors and will have two new thrill slides and a surfing machine. This past summer, BREC broke ground on renovations to the recreation center at Forest Community Park and a major expansion to the outdoor areas at North Sherwood Forest Community Park. Recently we broke ground on a major expansion to the Independence Gardens, the first since it opened in the late 1970’s and the repurposing of Howell Golf Course into a much larger community park which will serve thousands more people each year. The highly anticipated Knock Knock Children’s Museum is expected to open in the summer of 2017.


BREC will also continue its effort to create connectivity trails across the parish for bikers, runners and walkers and will begin creating blueway launch areas to connect waterways across East Baton Rouge Parish for kayak and canoe enthusiasts.


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