The consultant who is leading a search to replace outgoing East Baton Rouge Parish Park Superintendent Bill Palmer said Thursday his firm has received roughly 50 applications.

Bill Slaughter, of SSA Consultants, briefed members of the East Baton Rouge Recreation and Park Commission on the search process at BREC’s monthly meeting.

Slaughter said it is “critical to the long-term viability and success of BREC’ that the right person be found to replace Palmer, who is winding up a 32-year career heading the parks department.

“We are very confident that we can find the kind of candidate who can meet the needs this organization has,” Slaughter said.

He talked about the type of person who is needed — someone with strong leadership abilities, at least six years experience as a manager in park and recreation, or a related field, budgeting experience, and professional certification and membership in the National Recreation and Park Association.

“You might say that this is an extraordinary business person in parks and recreation with strong vision, charismatic leadership skills and a great communicator as well,” Slaughter said.

He said his firm has received “in the vicinity of 50 applications” and that the process is on schedule.

“It’s very encouraging at this point,” Slaughter said. “All indications are that we are going to attract some very excellent candidates.”

In response to questions from BREC commissioners, Slaughter said the search process is on track to have a new superintendent in place by Dec. 14.

BREC’s schedule calls for all applications to be received by Sept. 11. After a screening process, three finalists will be interviewed by the full commission on Oct. 9.

In other business Thursday:

KNOCK KNOCK CHILDREN’S MUSEUM: The commission authorized proceeding with contract negotiations with Cambridge Seven Associates Inc. of Massachusetts for architectural services to design the Knock Knock Children’s Museum at City Park for a fee not to exceed $425,000.

Assistant BREC Superintendent Ted Jack said officials were not able to come to an agreement with The Portico Group of Seattle, which was originally chosen to design the 30,000-square-foot building.

FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR BROOKS AND HOWELL PARKS: The commission authorized hiring Southeast Engineers LLC for engineering services that include a feasibility study for renovating swimming pools and bathhouses at Brooks Park and Howell Park. The feasibility study phase is to be done for a fee not to exceed $10,500.