City of Shreveport investing $5.3M in area organizations

Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 5:03 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Big developments are set to happen in Shreveport after Mayor Adrian Perkins announced the city will be investing $5.3 million in several area organizations.

SPAR will receive $3 million to renovate Cargill Park Soccer Field and other projects, the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana will receive $1.5 million and Ronald McDonald House Charities will receive $800,000 dollars.

CEO of the YMCA of NWLA Gary Lash said the investment will help reduce crime once construction of their new Youth Baseball and Softball Complex is complete. The complex hasn’t had significant renovations in the last 30 years.

“We’re trying to get more activity from all over the city for kids to come and participate here and get involved in sports and get involved team sports mentored by coaches and parents to help reduce those opportunities for mischief in our city,” said Lash.

Mayor Perkins said 50,000 people use the complex annually, and once renovations are complete Perkins said that number will increase to 350,000.

“Once these renovations are completed, it is expected to have a $5 million impact on our economy in the first year,” Perkins said.

Perkins explained why the city chose to invest in these organizations.

“Those projects are a direct response to the 11 listening sessions that we had last year. Hundreds of people showed up and gave their input on how we should invest the $48 million from the American Rescue Plan. The number one concern we heard had to deal with public safety, but closely following that and providing input to us was people saying we need more things for our youth to do here in Shreveport. So, as you can see that’s a few reasons why we are investing in our youth and investing in youth sports here in Shreveport,” he said.

The city is also investing in a Ronald McDonald House. While Willis-Knighton provided the property, families from all hospitals are welcome to use their services.

“We provide a home away from home for their families with a critically ill child. When families have to come to Shreveport for necessary healthcare for their child, many can’t afford a hotel,” said Janell Mason, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas.