Page 11 - BREC's 2019 Annual Report
P. 11

  Up to the Challenge:
BREC Responds to a
Community in Need
After the BREC Commission settled a highly publicized debate regarding the potential move of its Zoo from a residential/industrial area of the parish, BREC immediately began working toward hiring nationally renowned consultants to create master plans for the Zoo and adjoining park. Robust public engagement included over 4,000 points of engagement with 781 people attending public meetings or participating in a door-to-door survey, 1,362 participating in a Facebook live event, 1,306 giving online survey responses, 273+ face-to-face encounters, 400+ taking various media surveys, 50 attending stakeholder meetings and 700+ attending a Party in the Park celebration which unveiled the plans to the public. The event included a public presentation, food, music and a giant print-out of the park that allowed people to literally walk through the master plan.
After the celebration, BREC began the pre-construction phase of the project, hiring firms to create construction drawings and seeking a construction manager at-risk to oversee the largest construction project in BREC’s history. The first phase is estimated at a cost of between $25-million and $30 million.
The process has received national attention, including being featured in NRPA magazine, for fostering unity and excitement among a formerly divided community. It has sparked discussions about revitalizing a historically low-income, high-crime area of the parish.

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