richyb83

BREC

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As long as the new zoo doesn't take up much space, I'd be ok with it at City Park I guess. Still don't think it's a good spot for an attraction like a zoo.

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4 hours ago, cajun said:

City Park Golf Course seems very small for a decent zoo, especially one that will need room for gradual growth.    They'd have to use space very efficiently and probably rely on a parking deck across the street to accommodate the crowd.   It would be awesome to have the zoo restaurant and meeting area on the lake though.    

Could they build a great zoo right there? 

Idk, I think it'd be too small.

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On 7/20/2017 at 6:03 PM, dan326 said:

Idk, I think it'd be too small.

I think the site of the old Wastewater Treatment facility on River Road would also be too small.   

Wonder if it could fit onto the Howell Park Golf Course property.   They already need to close and re-purpose at least 2 BREC golf courses.   That one is pretty large and on a fairly decent sized street.    I think it may have flooded though since Hurricane Creek runs right through it.   

If they keep it where it is in Baker, they definitely need to move the entrance to LA 19 and expand the zoo into Greenwood Park.   That would also require turn lanes and a major revitalization effort for that stretch of road.

Edited by cajun
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I've actually been thinking about this a lot. While I would love to have a zoo located in the city center, I just don't think a new zoo should be built . The money BREC would need to purchase a new site (lets be real, no one is going to donate land), build a new zoo, create the road infrastructure to get to it, etc. would be ridiculous. This isn't going to be a cheap project and unless there are some serious studies that prove BREC would make the money back I'm opposed to a new zoo. 

The BREC system as a whole could use a lot of work and improvement. I think the millions that would be spent on a new zoo would be put to better use improving BREC's current parks and improving/expanding the zoo in NBR. Can we also address the fact that Zachary is growing pretty well and Baker can use any economic draw it can get? Improve the connections to the existing zoo, carry out some major revitalization efforts for that half of the parish, expand/renovate the current zoo, and improve BREC's current parks (convert City Park Golf Course into an expanded City Park, link that up with the new projects on the lake...effectively turn the whole area into one huge green space). 

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I've actually been thinking about this a lot. While I would love to have a zoo located in the city center, I just don't think a new zoo should be built . The money BREC would need to purchase a new site (lets be real, no one is going to donate land), build a new zoo, create the road infrastructure to get to it, etc. would be ridiculous. This isn't going to be a cheap project and unless there are some serious studies that prove BREC would make the money back I'm opposed to a new zoo. 
The BREC system as a whole could use a lot of work and improvement. I think the millions that would be spent on a new zoo would be put to better use improving BREC's current parks and improving/expanding the zoo in NBR. Can we also address the fact that Zachary is growing pretty well and Baker can use any economic draw it can get? Improve the connections to the existing zoo, carry out some major revitalization efforts for that half of the parish, expand/renovate the current zoo, and improve BREC's current parks (convert City Park Golf Course into an expanded City Park, link that up with the new projects on the lake...effectively turn the whole area into one huge green space). 
Agree agree agree. Although BREC does a very good job in my opinion.

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3 hours ago, Antrell Williams said:

Agree agree agree. Although BREC does a very good job in my opinion.

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They do a good job, but I think they could do even better. Turn BREC Farr park into the regions premier equestrian center. Turn City Park into a true City Park. Expand and improve the Perkins Community Park (maybe build a velodrome and skate-park that can be used by both LSU and SU and integrate it with the campus of the PBC). There's a lot they could do with the money to improve and expand their current offerings. 

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BREC seems to prefer more numerous, smaller parks.  That actually is better in most cases.  

If there was a larger, centralized park...the Zoo equation would be easier.  

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16 hours ago, cajun said:

BREC seems to prefer more numerous, smaller parks.  That actually is better in most cases.  

If there was a larger, centralized park...the Zoo equation would be easier.  

City Park is very small, with the Lake enhancements it will be bigger, but I don't think big enough for a modern zoo. I don't think the are around it could handle the increased traffic. They could probably build like an insectarium or a fully fledged art museum. 

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Yeah always thought City Park was too small for a Zoo....the Insectarium would make for some nice synergy w the new Children's Museum.

The two largest undeveloped tracts of land...LSU Rural Life Museum & Whittier property are off the table..but would have been large enough & centralized.

IMO BREC has done pretty good over the years...

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It sounds like they are eyeing the massive plot of land along O'Neal and I-12.   I suppose that would be one of the few decent locations available if they can build up the exhibits to avoid flooding.  Certainly a nice tree canopy there, and I'm sure they could build enough retention ponds and obtain enough fill to keep the animal's feet dry in the unlikely event we get another biblical flood like we did last year.  

Visibility on I-12 and easy access to the growing parts of the metro area would really help draw more visitors.   It could produce and help justify a much nicer zoo for Baton Rouge.

On 8/11/2017 at 10:56 PM, mr. bernham said:

They do a good job, but I think they could do even better. Turn BREC Farr park into the regions premier equestrian center. Turn City Park into a true City Park. Expand and improve the Perkins Community Park (maybe build a velodrome and skate-park that can be used by both LSU and SU and integrate it with the campus of the PBC). There's a lot they could do with the money to improve and expand their current offerings. 

The current location in Baker was never a great idea.   BREC does a good job, but that was a pretty big mistake. 

The region has grown a lot since then, and so has the zoo's target market.   It's time for a major expansion, but there just isn't many plots with good access to the region's limited highway network that can support a zoo without a lot of prep.   

The I-12 location near O'Neal may be the best available option, although I'd really like to see them seriously consider the old Cortana property.

Edited by cajun

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On 5/25/2017 at 5:35 PM, richyb83 said:

The old Zoo location has that Nostalgia thing going for it..kinda sad..however it's probably best to move i guess. 

Do you think what they are proposing(Amusements/Water Park etc)  as the replacement will work out well??

Guessing part of that 900+acres for sale mentioned years back  off I-12  btwn O'Neal Lane & Amite River is off the table?? Could be too flood prone??

^  Typed O'Neal/I-12 Zoo possibility too many times to count here on UP.....the Flood was a Game changer for me ....tree canopy was mentioned...plenty land,,etc...but if they mentioned it again...guess it was never off the table...Retention ponds/elaborate water way catch basin would make it tricky but doable?

ADD to Cajuns recent post LOL..Too tired & busy to type too much :silly: 

 

12 hours ago, cajun said:

It sounds like they are eyeing the massive plot of land along O'Neal and I-12.   I suppose that would be one of the few decent locations available if they can build up the exhibits to avoid flooding.  Certainly a nice tree canopy there, and I'm sure they could build enough retention ponds and obtain enough fill to keep the animal's feet dry in the unlikely event we get another biblical flood like we did last year.  

Visibility on I-12 and easy access to the growing parts of the metro area would really help draw more visitors.   It could produce and help justify a much nicer zoo for Baton Rouge.

The current location in Baker was never a great idea.   BREC does a good job, but that was a pretty big mistake. 

The region has grown a lot since then, and so has the zoo's target market.   It's time for a major expansion, but there just isn't many plots with good access to the region's limited highway network that can support a zoo without a lot of prep.   

The I-12 location near O'Neal may be the best available option, although I'd really like to see them seriously consider the old Cortana property.

 

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13 hours ago, richyb83 said:

^  Typed O'Neal/I-12 Zoo possibility too many times to count here on UP.....the Flood was a Game changer for me ....tree canopy was mentioned...plenty land,,etc...but if they mentioned it again...guess it was never off the table...Retention ponds/elaborate water way catch basin would make it tricky but doable?

ADD to Cajuns recent post LOL..Too tired & busy to type too much :silly: 

 

 

I think its important to point out that there is virtually nothing that we can do to prepare for another event like what Baton Rouge saw a year ago.   30 inches of rain inside of a single day is going to devastate any city.  

That being said, if they can build up the exhibits on the sites to an elevation that would not have flooded in 2016, I don't think it would matter if things like the parking lot or accessory structures flooded.   With that in mind, that location is about as good as you can get in Baton Rouge without demolishing something else.   IMO it makes up for being farther away from the city center with visibility on I-12 and the overall size of the project.  

I think it would be smart for Baton Rouge to start locating amenities with regional scope (like zoos or airports) along I-12 and I-10 on the side of town that is growing.   We can use their business and admission $$ to create better amenities in Baton Rouge if we do it smartly.  In 20 years the metro will grow even more towards the Hammond and New Orleans metro areas.    We may need to compete with their local attractions.   

Edited by cajun
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 I was told by one of the officials at one of the BREC meetings that 3 sites under consideration were the land by Forrest Park, the horse ranch by Cedar Lodge and the land north of Dixie Landin that they had bought. I don' t think they'd out it by O'Neal because they said to put in by the river they'd have to build it up like 10' so if they wouldn't do that I doubt they'd do it for O'Neal.

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On 8/29/2017 at 4:39 PM, dan326 said:

 I was told by one of the officials at one of the BREC meetings that 3 sites under consideration were the land by Forrest Park, the horse ranch by Cedar Lodge and the land north of Dixie Landin that they had bought. I don' t think they'd out it by O'Neal because they said to put in by the river they'd have to build it up like 10' so if they wouldn't do that I doubt they'd do it for O'Neal.

Yeah of the 4 locations you mentioned, O'Neal would have the highest flood concern for me.   They might be able to build up the exhibits, but that would add costs.   Probably not worth it unless they can obtain the land for free.  

The other 3 locations are better, but also likely more expensive to obtain.   I'd prefer the horse ranch by Cedar Lodge, but the Dixie Landing area is also a pretty good spot depending on what piece of land they are talking about.   It would be beneficial to have visibility to I-10 in that case even if the exhibits were set back from the highway.

The area near Forrest Park is a pretty decent location (and I did point that out earlier), so I'm glad they are considering it.  That's a good spot especially if they can get the plot immediately north of Harrell's Ferry Road.  They can get freeway frontage and visibility and have ample space to install new museums and attractions in the future.   Harrell's ferry is also a very nice, wide road with sidewalks and street lights.   It's also easy to get to from both Sherwood and Millerville off I-12.   They could probably even put parking north of the street and build a walk-over bridge if they had the land north of the street.  I think that area also would require some prep but it includes a mature tree canopy and plenty of space.

My vote would go for Forrest Park of those locations, assuming it were available. 

Edited by cajun

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The question should be if they moved the zoo to that location where will the animals be  moved when that location flood again like it did in 2016.

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8 hours ago, greg225 said:

The question should be if they moved the zoo to that location where will the animals be  moved when that location flood again like it did in 2016.

I'm sure they'll modify the site significantly.    Every zoo has to have a plan in case of a flood or some kind of storm damage.     The one in Memphis has shelters for tornadoes and hail.    The national zoo in DC has heated shelters for winter storms.    The Baton Rouge zoo will likely include  a lot of lakes from where landfill will be borrowed.

On 2/6/2018 at 5:31 PM, richyb83 said:

Wow...mixed feelings on the Fairgrounds location off Airline Hwy

I wish it were closer to downtown....but even on UP, we had a lot of trouble finding available sites that were large enough to support a zoo and parking.    That Fairgrounds location is nothing if it isn't HUGE and highly visible.    BREC apparently wants a massive zoo.  

From what I've read, it will cost $90 million to renovate the existing location.     The new location will cost about $150 million to develop, but they will get sponsors and donations to fund half of it.     

Edited by cajun
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Well it's kind of disappointing the zoo is staying where it's at but on the other hand they really didn't have any good places to put it anyway. Now let's hope they can just go ahead and get to work getting it revamped. I guess its a good thing a decision was made, I figured by the time we voted to move the zoo and made the umpteenth plan, zoos would have gone out of style, like how by the time they build Juban Crossing, it was a downgrade from the original plan because of the economy.

 

http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_8e47b38e-2d5d-11e8-b1c8-a77cc0eddc2c.html

It's unanimous: BREC commission decides Baton Rouge Zoo is where it belongs

The Baton Rouge Zoo will not move to Airline Highway Park, after a tide of opposition that had strengthened in recent weeks led the board that oversees local parks Thursday to rethink the relocation proposal.

BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight and Zoo Director Phil Frost asked their board members Thursday to agree to move to the zoo from its longtime home at Greenwood Park in north Baton Rouge to the park in the southeastern part of the parish.

 

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Thankfully they have a timeline, now let's look to see if they can follow through with it.

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