A new sports park in Central will feature new baseball fields and a fishing pond when it opens next year — if all goes as planned.
A groundbreaking for the Central Community Sports Park will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the park’s future site at 10501 Lovett Road. Some work at the site has already been done, such as the construction of the fishing pond, said Ted Jack, assistant superintendent of planning operations and resources with East Baton Rouge Parish Recreation and Park Commission.
If construction goes smoothly and grass can be planted on the baseball fields by May, it’s possible the park will be open for games in the fall, he said.
If there are delays, the grass on the field won’t have enough time to get established, so the park opening could be delayed until the following year.
David Barrow, executive assistant to the mayor of Central, said BREC listened to community input on the project and included additional baseball fields in the design.
“Central has such a large number of baseball teams,” Barrow said. “It’s probably the biggest sport in Central.”
Currently, baseball youth league participants play at Lovett Road Park, also a BREC facility, but it’s an older facility with poor parking options and the fields aren’t in the best condition, he said.
“It’s going to be a big improvement on Lovett Road Park,” Barrow said.
The 53-acre park will initially be built with five baseball fields, but as funding becomes available more fields will be added, Jack said.
“It’s rare we would have the money to build out a park completely,” Jack said.
With $2.8 million in current funding available, BREC will be able to build the baseball fields, a walking trail and fishing pier at the pond and parking lots. Eventually, the plan calls for seven baseball fields, three multi-use practice fields and a playground.
Lovett Road Park, which has 10 baseball fields, will still be used but as more of the league play transfers over to the new park, some of those fields could be transitioned into soccer fields, Jack said.