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richyb83

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BREC should fix up the zoo before we talk about new parks.

Wait a minute.....would a zoo fit on the city park property?

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Are yall seeing 3 little dots underlined in place of some of the topics?? Weird....

 

Baton Rouge lands on list of best U.S. cities for recreation

 

With slightly more than 120 recreational facilities per 100,000 residents, Baton Rouge is among the top 10 cities in the nation for recreational activities, according to financial website nerdwallet.com. The website ranks Baton Rouge No. 6 among 95 U.S. cities that it ranked based on the number of recreational options per resident, the percentage of city green space, the number of recreation and senior centers, and the number of playgrounds. Carolyn McKnight, BREC's superintendent, praises the agency's efforts in obtaining the recognition. "BREC has worked tirelessly to implement the 'Imagine Your Parks' strategic plan passed by voters in 2004, and we know how this incredible program is transforming recreational opportunities across East Baton Rouge Parish," McKnight says in a news release. "It is gratifying to see that a national outlet which focuses on ensuring that its customers get the best value for their dollar has recognized the quality of our efforts, and we hope it will help excite the public as we prepare to create another strategic plan to map out improvements to our system for another 10 years." See the full list. —Staff report

http://www.businessreport.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=daily-reportPM&date=

 

Edited by richyb83
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New BREC walking trails open Tuesday

 

 Walking though one of the trails in BREC’s Frenchtown Road Conservation Area is like walking into a story book forest. The Amite River is muddy brown, long leaf yellow sunflowers are blooming and bright red cardinals swoop from bushes to trees in a flash.

And then there are the webs spun by gold and black banana spiders. Although its the season for the bigger spiders to die off, there are still a few stragglers around to make a mid morning hike slightly annoying.

 

The 496-acre site of bottomland hardwood forest habitat with three miles of trails at the confluence of the Amite and Comite Rivers is the largest conservation area operated by BREC, which purchased the land in 2009 for $1.4 million. The grand opening is 10 a.m. Tuesday.

 

http://theadvocate.com/home/7354883-125/new-brec-walking-trails-open

Edited by richyb83
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I was driving around one day and ended up here, I was wondering why it was closed but am glad to see it was being restored and is open again. I'll have to go there one day.

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Greg posted an article from the businessreport on the Development thread, post 3261. I figured I'd knock the dust of this thread for discussion.

 

Here's the 225 article the BusinessReport referenced : http://www.225batonrouge.com/community/new-view-baton-rouge-zoo

 

I'll admit, I literally laughed out loud when I read $110 million, but I think it might be a good investment if BR continues on its current growth path.

The article talks about moving the zoo's entrance and the location entirely. I think the zoo's location might actually not be too bad considering its by Zachary and Central, which seems to be taking off. But if it were to be moved I think somewhere on River Road wouldn't be too bad. Maybe even incorporate it into LSU South Campus? I know LSU wants to build a new Natural History Museum one day, maybe they could combine the two?

Edited by dan326

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Greg posted an article from the businessreport on the Development thread, post 3261. I figured I'd knock the dust of this thread for discussion.

 

Here's the 225 article the BusinessReport referenced : http://www.225batonrouge.com/community/new-view-baton-rouge-zoo

 

I'll admit, I literally laughed out loud when I read $110 million, but I think it might be a good investment if BR continues on its current growth path.

The article talks about moving the zoo's entrance and the location entirely. I think the zoo's location might actually not be too bad considering its by Zachary and Central, which seems to be taking off. But if it were to be moved I think somewhere on River Road wouldn't be too bad. Maybe even incorporate it into LSU South Campus? I know LSU wants to build a new Natural History Museum one day, maybe they could combine the two?

I wish the Zoo would have include their plans on how the 110 million would be use. The BR Zoo have vacant  property that sit right beside it hopefully someday that could become a aquarium.

Edited by greg225

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I wish the Zoo would have include their plans on how the 110 million would be use. The BR Zoo have vacant  property that sit right beside it hopefully someday that could become a aquarium.

Good point. There is a TON of land by the zoo. If we developed the whole thing it would be AMAZING. I don't think people would care about it being in Baker. Right now though, the zoo is not really worth the drive. 

 

Another cool place for an aquarium would be downtown along the river? That would really add some spice to downtown and make it more of a destination. I'm actually surprised nothing has been proposed for that large open space adjacent to the capitol complex along the river. Building a large and beautiful aquarium there could not only give the visitor center more of a purpose, but could also enhance the skyline if done right. 

 

Greg posted an article from the businessreport on the Development thread, post 3261. I figured I'd knock the dust of this thread for discussion.

 

Here's the 225 article the BusinessReport referenced : http://www.225batonrouge.com/community/new-view-baton-rouge-zoo

 

I'll admit, I literally laughed out loud when I read $110 million, but I think it might be a good investment if BR continues on its current growth path.

The article talks about moving the zoo's entrance and the location entirely. I think the zoo's location might actually not be too bad considering its by Zachary and Central, which seems to be taking off. But if it were to be moved I think somewhere on River Road wouldn't be too bad. Maybe even incorporate it into LSU South Campus? I know LSU wants to build a new Natural History Museum one day, maybe they could combine the two?

I think that it probably will be moved. I personally think that if done right the Baker location can still work, but in the report 52% of respondents said the zoo should be moved while only 11% thought it should stay. 37% thought it should move, but want more information. Those numbers aren't really a show of confidence in the current location. The report also noted that most visitors come from Walker, Hammond, Denham Springs, LSU, Garden District, and Gonzales, where as only 1% of visitors came from the zoo's current area. 

 

I think the numbers ultimately point towards a zoo being constructed close to LSU and with easy access to I-10/I-12 that way they can justify spending the millions and increase total visitation. The problem is finding a good centralized location that is easy to get to. 

 

All I know is that if BREC wants to keep getting tax-payers to give them money, they need to make the zoo a true asset for the city. 

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Good point. There is a TON of land by the zoo. If we developed the whole thing it would be AMAZING. I don't think people would care about it being in Baker. Right now though, the zoo is not really worth the drive. 

 

Another cool place for an aquarium would be downtown along the river? That would really add some spice to downtown and make it more of a destination. I'm actually surprised nothing has been proposed for that large open space adjacent to the capitol complex along the river. Building a large and beautiful aquarium there could not only give the visitor center more of a purpose, but could also enhance the skyline if done right. 

 

I think that it probably will be moved. I personally think that if done right the Baker location can still work, but in the report 52% of respondents said the zoo should be moved while only 11% thought it should stay. 37% thought it should move, but want more information. Those numbers aren't really a show of confidence in the current location. The report also noted that most visitors come from Walker, Hammond, Denham Springs, LSU, Garden District, and Gonzales, where as only 1% of visitors came from the zoo's current area. 

 

I think the numbers ultimately point towards a zoo being constructed close to LSU and with easy access to I-10/I-12 that way they can justify spending the millions and increase total visitation. The problem is finding a good centralized location that is easy to get to. 

 

All I know is that if BREC wants to keep getting tax-payers to give them money, they need to make the zoo a true asset for the city. 

The only other good location for the BR Zoo and possibly aquarium  would be the City Park Golf  Course, but that's if it's every closed. 

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Or if we really want to dream, maybe they could partner with Disney and create Animal Kingdom 2, lol. Of course, I could see that quickly turning into a nightmare, with regards to funding, control, etc.

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The only other good location for the BR Zoo and possibly aquarium  would be the City Park Golf  Course, but that's if it's every closed. 

Um...the City Park Golf Course is way too small. 

Or if we really want to dream, maybe they could partner with Disney and create Animal Kingdom 2, lol. Of course, I could see that quickly turning into a nightmare, with regards to funding, control, etc.

lol, that would be amazing, but terrifying too.

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Thanks for revving up the BREC thread again Dan :thumbsup:  Saw this interesting story in the 225 Magazine

 

As Mr Bernham mentioned...those were some eye popping numbers of where the visitors are coming from!! That might imply an area once talked about years ago for a possible New Zoo location...the 850-acre area of land up for sale between O'Neal Lane/Amite River along I-12 where the failed huge La Vie TND/Movie studio development was supposed to be built. Just stated a few weeks back this large green/wooded canopy should remain a nature preserve...but might a zoo work there if done right? I'd be torn on this location

 

I don't mind keeping the zoo at the current location in Baker...it brings bit of nostalgia as a kid. I like the set-up. Looks like there could be some room to expand too.  But the zoo has slowly gone down a few notches ovewr the past years...the big cat exhibit is back up & running & nice. But their are only a few monkey's remaining ...& well as other animals.

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As Mr Bernham mentioned...those were some eye popping numbers of where the visitors are coming from!! That might imply an area once talked about years ago for a possible New Zoo location...the 850-acre area of land up for sale between O'Neal Lane/Amite River along I-12 where the failed huge La Vie TND/Movie studio development was supposed to be built. Just stated a few weeks back this large green/wooded canopy should remain a nature preserve...but might a zoo work there if done right? I'd be torn on this location

It would be amazing if they intertwined the nature preserve and the zoo...made the whole area a great celebration of nature. 

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Study revives debate over relocating Baton Rouge Zoo, but politics could make it a tough sell

A recent study has revived an off-and-on again debate in Baton Rouge about where the Baton Rouge Zoo’s animals should slither, swim and scamper.

The study by a Philadelphia-based consultant found that many residents want to relocate the zoo as part of a massive overhaul. Some local leaders say it makes sense to move the zoo to a more accessible location but wonder if political obstacles can be overcome.

Among the suggestions for the zoo’s location that have been pitched past and present are: off Interstate 12, off Interstate 10, in the central heart of the city, near L’Auberge Casino and Hotel on the south side of the city, in an area closer to LSU and on land near LSU’s Rural Life Museum.

http://theadvocate.com/news/13238003-123/study-revives-debate-over-relocating

Edited by dan326

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Varsity Sports owner, BREC differ on ideas for public track in Brooks Park                 

Plans by a group of running enthusiasts to help develop a public track on an underutilized portion of Brooks Park behind McKinley Middle Magnet School appear to have hit a snag. BREC, which owns the park, has been meeting with the group, led by Varsity Sports owner Jenni Peters, and is willing to make some property available for the project—but only enough to build a 333-meter track, not a regulation-length 400-meter track.

After meeting with BREC officials on Tuesday last week, Varsity Sports posted an update on its Facebook page and asked supporters whether they’d be willing to help raise $200,000 to fund a 333-meter track. Their response was overwhelmingly negative.

“‘Why bother’ seems to be the consensus,” Peters says. “It’s not up to me, but I have to ask people to help me raise the money, and people don’t want to spend that much money if it’s not a regulation track.”

Peters, who has promoted running in the community for nearly three decades, proposed the track in July for a roughly four-acre site off Dalrymple Drive near the Raising Cane’s Dog Park. Until recently, several local high school tracks were available for public use, but as those facilities have been upgraded, they’ve become closed off to the public.

BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight has said she supports the idea but wants to keep some of the property open for use as a softball field for McKinley Middle Magnet. She tells Daily Report it was never her understanding that the runners wanted to build a regulation-length track.

“When they approached us they were talking about a place to practice, not a place to hold track meets,” McKnight says. “We can build a practice track but not a facility for track meets.”

BREC’s proposed track would include a softball field in the center. It is unclear whether Varsity’s Sports’ plans could be tweaked to include space for a softball field. What is clear, based on social media, is that the running community sees no point in raising money to build a track that couldn’t be used for sanctioned sporting events.

“That is a great place for a 400 meter track!,” writes Rebecca Farris Penniman on Varsity Sports’ Facebook page. “My daughter is at McKinley Middle and they use that park during P.E. etc. It is a nice jog from City Park. Come on BREC do it right and make it a standard 400m!”

Adds Patrick Fellows: “I have a 333 meter track in my front yard. It’s called the street. This is a waste of time and effort. Let’s make some 39-yard soccer fields while we are at it.”

McKnight says nothing has been decided and she is still open to talking to the group.   https://www.businessreport.com/article/varsity-sports-owner-brec-differ-ideas-public-track-brooks-park

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BREC looking for funds to develop 400-meter public track at Perkins Road park     

BREC officials are exploring the possibility of developing a 400-meter public track in conjunction with a badly needed renovation of Olympia Stadium at the Perkins Road Community Park. As envisioned, the regulation-length track would ring the interior of the stadium, which would get a facelift.

Plans for the track and the stadium renovation are in the very preliminary stages, according to BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight, who says the idea was floated after discussions over the development of a proposed public track at Brooks Park hit a snag in recent months.

“We got to a standstill when we realized we didn’t have enough space (for the track at Brooks Park),” McKnight says. “So we said let’s stop, look around and see what else we can explore. Olympia is one idea that came up.”

Talk of developing a public track began last summer, when Varsity Sports owner and running enthusiast Jenni Peters proposed raising $500,000 in private funds to develop a public track on an underutilized portion of Brooks Park behind McKinley Middle Magnet School. BREC officials initially said they liked the idea but later said they didn’t have enough land to develop a 400-meter track, which is a standard length used in track meets.

BREC offered enough land for a 333-meter track, but running enthusiasts said there would be little point in raising money to build a track that is nonstandard length.

McKnight says a 200-meter track, which is a standard length and could be used as a practice track, could be built on the site, but the agency is not interested in paying for it. Peters says she believes both track projects should be explored and that they are not mutually exclusive.

“It’s worth pursuing them both at the same time,” she says.

Peters says she believes she could raise enough money for a 200-meter track at Brooks Park from private donors. As for the larger track at Olympia, McKnight says it would be a multimillion-dollar project and that a funding source would have to be identified.

“It would be wonderful for the community,” she says. “We just have to find the resources to make it happen.”  https://www.businessreport.com/article/brec-looking-funds-develop-400-meter-public-track-perkins-road-park

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Personally torn on this....Figured this would come up again before the end of the year...people from the nearby area were surveyed as yo why they were not going to the zoo?

Consultants again urge BREC to consider relocating Baton Rouge Zoo from its off-the-beaten-track site near Baker

Baton Rouge Zoo consultants told the BREC Board of Commissioners on Wednesday the zoo cannot be successful in the future with its current model and presented a plan that includes scouting locations for a new and improved zoo.

Philadelphia-based consultants Schultz & Williams started a feasibility study over the summer on a $110 million upgrade to the zoo. They updated the BREC board Wednesday with some of their most current findings.

Past discussions about relocating the zoo from its out-of-the-way location on Thomas Road in Baker have led to political squabbles between the northern and southern parts of the parish. Some politicians who represent north Baton Rouge, like state Sen. Sharon Weston Broome, D-Baton Rouge, and Metro Councilwoman Chauna Banks-Daniel, have already said they will oppose moving the zoo.

“Location needs to be assessed to ensure maximum return to all,” the consultants reiterated in a PowerPoint presentation to the board on Wednesday. The consultants included Rick Biddle and Jill Macauley, of Schultz & Williams, and Jon Stefansson and Jennifer Finley, of CLR Design.

They told the BREC board that a zoo location would need to contain between 75 and 120 acres; the zoo has 140 acres but occupies only part of it. A new site would also need to come through a land donation or a long-term management agreement, they said.

Years ago, the Baton Rouge Zoo passed up an opportunity for a land donation that fits the criteria of what the consultants are looking for now.

In 2004, developer Ted Hicks offered the zoo 150 acres on O’Neal Lane off Interstate 12. But political turmoil quickly spoiled the deal.

Hicks had planned a development with a high-end outlet mall and other amenities in the same location, but he dropped his option to buy the land once his deal with the zoo went bad.

Developers like Hicks, who died last month, and Mike Wampold, who sits on the steering committee for the zoo’s new vision, have both said the zoo could be more successful in a more accessible and frequently-trafficked area.

In an August interview, Hicks said that still means a location off I-12, a corridor that travelers pass on road trips between California and Florida. Wampold has suggested looking at options like land on River Road and south of L’Auberge Casino and Hotel.

McKnight, the BREC superintendent, has already made it clear that if the zoo changes locations, Baker would not be left with more than a hundred acres of vacant land. She said part of the deal of moving the zoo would mean replacing it with something the people who live closest would still enjoy, like another version of the Liberty Lagoon Water Park or zip lines.

Regardless of whether the zoo moves, the consultants said other aspects of how it operates need to change.

“Status quo is not an option,” they said.

*rest of article

http://theadvocate.com/news/14306556-32/consultants-again-urge-brec-to-consider-relocating-the-baton-rouge-zoo-from-its-off-the-beaten-track

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BREC look like they made up their minds that the zoo will stay at the same location. Since they will stay they need come up with a plan to modernize the zoo and add new exhibits.  They also need add another entrance that would extend to Hwy 19 which runs through Baker, Zachary and Baton Rouge. They also need to focus on parking because every time I passed by the zoo, and its a big crowd cars are parked on the side of the road. If they are not going to move they at least need to start making the current location better to draw more people in. Crazy part the zoo owns a lot of property and they not even using half of it.

Edited by greg225

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Changes anticipated for Baton Rouge Zoo, even if officials don’t try to move it                                                         

 

 

 
 
 

The Baton Rouge Zoo might have the same giraffes roaming and macaws squawking five years from now, but the animals’ surroundings could look different regardless of whether a controversial location change happens.

 

Zoo Price Comparisons

 

Baton Rouge Zoo

Adults: $8.75

Children: $5.75

 

Audubon Zoo New Orleans

Adults: $19.95

Children: $14.95

 

Zoosiana Zoo of Acadiana

Adults: $11.99

Children: $7.99

 

Alexandria Zoo

Adults: $7.50

Children: $5.50

If the zoo stays in Baker, between 90 to 95 percent of the zoo’s current architecture needs to be replaced for the proposed, interactive “zoo of the future” that the recreation and parks commission is imagining, said Zoo Director Phil Frost.

That kind of rebuilding would require public buy-in. A recent study concluded an expansive revamp of the existing zoo would be as expensive as moving the zoo across town and starting from scratch.

Though zoo officials have not released the handful of locations they are seriously scouting if they do opt to move, they have tested the waters and are gathering data to bolster their case. For example, a survey of people who live within three miles of the zoo in Baker found that the vast majority aren’t regular visitors.

“With the great majority of households in this area visiting the zoo infrequently, rarely or never, we would not anticipate a strong or ‘organized opposition’ to relocation of the zoo based on the data presented herein,” reads the survey from Baton Rouge market research firm Percy and Company. 

ZIP code studies also show that the zoo’s most frequent guests are not the ones who live closest to it. Instead, the young families most often visiting the lemurs and alligators are from south Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Zachary and northwest Ascension Parish, according to zoo officials.

Still, the politicians representing north Baton Rouge are not blasé about a possible move.

“Could it be that people don’t want to see some of the things that they see on the way to the zoo? Could it be the blight? Maybe,” said longtime state legislator Sharon Weston Broome, who represented north Baton Rouge and is now running for mayor. “But let’s address the blight. Let’s address the zoo. And let the zoo grow and develop on the ample acreage that it has there.”

Metro Councilwoman Chauna Banks-Daniel has hammered BREC on her Facebook page, saying nobody will be motivated to go to north Baton Rouge for a zoo replacement like a water park, one idea that has been floated as an alternative.

Banks-Daniel said the lack of recent improvements to the zoo do not give the people of her district a reason to support it.

“Poor management and a systematic plan to let the zoo die of a ‘slow death’ to support a campaign to move the zoo is at the root of this plot,” she said in an email.

Whether it’s in the tree-lined Baker location or somewhere else, zoo officials say a lot of elements need to change.

Zoo officials won’t commit to a price tag just yet, but early studies suggested building a new zoo could cost $110 million, excluding the cost of buying land. The proposal to move the zoo is predicated on the land being donated.

Frost acknowledged that there is no way to rebuild or move the zoo without additional public money, but said it’s premature to say there would need to be a dedicated tax and what that would look like. He said the determination will come once officials have a better sense of how much the improvements will cost.

“I don’t think there’s any question that there’s going to be a need for some mix of public and private [funding]…unless we get really lucky and someone decides to write us a large check,” Frost said.

The money would go toward adding extras to make the zoo appealing to broader demographics than just young children. Frost envisions train rides, ropes courses, carousels, splash pads and more. He wants facilities to host retreats, wedding receptions, dances and even overnight guests.

And if the zoo stays in Baker, he wants to add another entrance from Highway 19.

“We’re currently pretty much a 9 to 5 zoo,” Frost said. “We need to make that a 7 to 10 zoo.”

One way to offset some of the cost would be to build attractions that bring in revenue, Frost said.

Another likely change could come at the prices to attend the zoo. Admission prices at the Baton Rouge Zoo are among the lowest in the state. It currently costs $8.75 for adults and $5.75 for children.

At Lafayette’s “Zoosiana,” adults pay $11.99 and children pay $7.99.

And at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, admission is $19.95 for adults and $14.95 for children.

Frost said he wants to institute dynamic pricing at the Baton Rouge Zoo, where prices vary depending on the time of year people visit and the activities they choose.

Those visiting at peak times would pay more than people stopping by on a random weekday morning. Families who want to ride a train around the zoo or cool off under a splash pad would pay more than those who strictly are there to look at the animals.

In addition to evaluating the current location’s ability to host the changes they want to make, Frost said officials have looked at around eight other locations. The finalists will be revealed next month.

With each, the zoo’s steering committee is weighing pros and cons based on proximity to frequent visitors, proximity to major thoroughfares, acreage size, floodplains and more. If the pros for moving outweigh the pros of staying, BREC will try to pitch the location change as an opportunity for the community in north Baton Rouge to get something they would use more often than the zoo.

“Emotions are real and they won’t be ignored,” said BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight. “And so we will definitely have to make sure that we continue to talk about it and see what the will of the community is.”

Market researchers Percy and Company conducted the survey in November of people who lived within a three mile radius of Greenwood Community Park, which is next to the zoo. Only 3 percent of the 327 people surveyed said they visited the zoo monthly, while just about a quarter of these “heads of household” say their families attend several times a year. In comparison, 39 percent said they visit other BREC parks multiple times a month.

Respondents said they would be interested in an expansion of Greenwood Park that would include playgrounds, water parks, trails and more.

When asked why they don’t visit the zoo more often, most respondents could not articulate a specific reason. One hundred respondents said they were unsure what the zoo could do to become a more attractive place to visit.

Others suggested adding more animals. Frost has said adding animals is not easy because the zoo is constantly adjusting to accreditation requirements for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The survey concluded that the north Baton Rouge community would support BREC’s additions to Greenwood Park in place of the zoo.

But even if the public does not buy into a location change, Frost and McKnight are hoping that they will support a new version of the zoo in Baker. They said the 46-year-old one is struggling, only earning half of its yearly $5.5 million budget with the other half coming from BREC. The infrastructure and funding sources are not sustainable, McKnight and Frost said.

“It’s just not working, it’s not enough, and we know this,” McKnight said.     http://theadvocate.com/news/14651323-123/changes-anticipated-for-baton-rouge-zoo-even-if-officials-dont-try-to-move-it

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The Zoo sit in Baker City limits, but the article say Zachary is not close to the Zoo but Zachary sit less than a mile from Baker. I still say the Zoo need to stay  where its at because the Zoo own too much land and its mostly undeveloped,  they must try to develop that land first before thinking about moving. I feel moving the zoo must be the a last result if it don't work after making a attempt to make the current location better than move. Even if they move the zoo they might have the same problems if they don't think big.

Edited by greg225

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Ten years later frame of Knock Knock museum rising in City-Brooks Park

Driving east on Interstate 10 past the Dalrymple exit, the shell of the Knock Knock Children’s Museum finally is visible.

 

Ten years ago, it was a far-off dream. But the Knock Knock Children’s Museum’s building should be finished by the end of 2016, and the interactive learning zones that kids will play with inside will be installed shortly afterward.

 

Steel beams and columns go up nearly every day as a crane hangs over the museum’s future home atop a hill on Dalrymple Drive across from BREC’s City Park Golf Course and lakes.

“When you see it in person, you realize how big it is and how important it will be for Baton Rouge,” said Aza Bowlin, the museum’s board of directors chairwoman, about the 30,000-square-foot building.

Fundraising for the nonprofit museum has progressed since Bowlin and a team of other contributors broke ground in April 2015. Knock Knock leaders reported having about $9.4 million raised then, and now they are up to $11.6 million.

But six of the museum’s 18 planned learning zones still need sponsors. Each area has a different learning focus for children — for example, Associated Food Stores is sponsoring a mock pantry where children can grocery shop and Dow Chemical Co. is sponsoring a water feature to allow children to try their hands at fishing.

Among those that still need sponsors are a studio where children can dress up and perform in front of cameras and a story tree where kids can page through books about the topics that the learning zones emphasize.

Each of those learning zones is being built more than 500 miles away in Nashville, Tennessee. A group called 1220 that specializes in building exhibits will create them there, take them apart for the trip south and then put them back together once the museum is ready.

 

The museum’s foundation has been laid, along with the steel beams for a story book climber that Bowlin said she’s especially excited about. The story book climber will eventually be transformed into a climbing feature where children can crawl atop sturdy book pages as though they are ascending through stories.

Metro Councilwoman Tara Wicker, whose district includes the museum, said the city-parish is making sure the museum will have sidewalks around it and a rear entrance to make it easier for the children who live in the neighborhood to visit.

“We’re really excited about that, and we want to make sure that walkability and connectivity to the museum is a priority,” Wicker said.

 

Bowlin said the museum board is still trying to determine the future costs to operate the museum. She said she expects that Knock Knock will have a budget of more than $1 million annually, but they still are working out many of the details.

Knock Knock’s operating costs will be covered through a combination of admission and membership fees — the prices for both of which have not been determined yet — in addition to event rentals and donations. Bowlin said they designed it with the idea that the museum would be rented out for meetings, banquets and possibly even weddings.

And with every square foot of concrete being poured, the museum’s leaders also have been trying to make sure that people know about the upcoming children’s museum and are getting excited for it. They engaged McKinley High School students in creating a phone app for the museum, and they visit groups of kids with a “rigamajig,” a series of large building blocks and materials, and an “imagination playground” of mobile playground blocks and toys.

 

The museum has been a long time coming. It gained a lot of momentum in 2010, when BREC became a partner and donated $3 million to the cause. The building had been set to break ground in 2014 before being delayed a few more times.

“Now we actually have a visible edifice that’s gonna be beautiful. I think it’s a win-win for the community and Baton Rouge as a whole,” Wicker said.  http://theadvocate.com/news/15047662-123/ten-years-later-frame-of-knock-knock-museum-rising-in-city-brooks-park

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The construction at the new Children's Museum looks pretty cool when driving westbound I-10 crossing City Park Lake :shades: 

Edited by richyb83
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