Eleven playgrounds or parks on both the East and West Banks of Jefferson Parish are undergoing major renovations.
On the East Bank, work is underway at Lafreniere Park, as well as at Cleary, Bright, Lakeshore and Girard playgrounds. On the West Bank, work has begun at Waggaman and Rosethorn playgrounds, along with Parc des Familles. And beginning in October, Johnny Jacobs playground also will get some much-needed improvements.
“Some of these facilities haven’t been updated or had much work done since they opened,” said Leo Webb, assistant director of the Jefferson Parish Recreation Department. “This includes Cleary, Bright and Lakeshore playgrounds in Metairie and Parc des Familles on the West Bank. And in the case of the other locations, it has been as long as eight, 15 or 20 years since any renovation has been done.”
At Cleary, Bright and Lakeshore, work began in March. At Bright and Lakeshore, the gyms are being refurbished, and new ventilation systems are being installed. At Cleary, a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system also is being installed.
The estimated construction cost at Cleary is $464,000, at Bright it is $398,000 and at Lakeshore the cost is $710,000. The contractor for all three jobs is Pete Vicari, and the work at all three playgrounds is expected to be complete by October.
Work on the interior and exterior of the gymnasium at Girard Playground began in May. Crescent Commercial Construction is the contractor, and the estimated cost is $824,000. November is the target date for completion.
LLJ Environmental Construction began work on two projects at Lafreniere Park in June. One project is the resurfacing of the walking track, which was last done about eight years ago. The work should be completed by mid-September, and the estimated cost is $464,400.
The second project at Lafreniere is repairing the park’s boardwalks, which previously was done more than 20 years ago. It is estimated to cost $68,255, and the work should be completed by early December.
On the West Bank, the tot lots at Rosethorne and Johnny Jacobs playgrounds will be removed and replaced. The work at Rosethorne, which began in mid-July by Dyna-Play LLC, will cost $144,878 and should be completed by mid-October.
Construction will begin in October at Johnny Jacobs. Planet Recess Inc. will perform the work for $297,990; the project should be complete in November.
The vinyl gym panel and the gym floor, both 15 years old, have been replaced at Waggaman Playground. Cornerstone Commercial Flooring finished the work in July at a cost of $65,000.
A roadway, boardwalk, a restroom building and a pavilion have been completed at Parc des Familles. The new construction was done by Beverly Construction Co., and the cost was $2,590,406.
And still underway at Parc des Familles is the construction of a reader board, a new entrance and two pavilions. The work, by W.L. Wyman Construction Co., began in May and is slated for completion in mid-October at a cost of $379,000.
The funding for the Parc des Familles work came from the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism and from the Louisiana state capital outlay budget, Webb said.
Funding for all other projects came from council district funds and JPRD budget funds, or from a combination of both.
“We really hope everyone will enjoy the new upgrades,” Webb said. “The children usually come out in large numbers whenever we build a new or replace an existing tot lot. And the air conditioning and other renovations will make our families want to spend more time at the playgrounds.”