Bossier gateway committee selects design

Panel now must determine cost, feasibility of constructing the winning concept
The design selected by the Bossier gateway committee features a pair of restored B-52 wings...
Published: Jul. 31, 2023 at 3:45 PM CDT
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BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KSLA) — A “Welcome to Bossier” gateway concept featuring a set of B-52 bomber wings has been selected by a committee of community leaders as the top proposal from among six submissions from a group of local architects.

Submitters were tasked with creating a gateway that best reflects the values of Bossier residents, extends the welcome mat to visitors and displays Barksdale Air Force Base’s value to the area.

The selected design includes a flagpole only slightly taller than the length of a B-52 that is topped with a flag the size of three 18-wheelers stacked. The wings’ engine housings conceal the lights that illuminate the flag at night.

“The winning concept by SGB Architects will attract attention from all who see it and serve to emphasize the pride the Bossier Parish community takes in being the home to Barksdale Air Force Base,” said Lynn Bryan, Executive Director of Keep Bossier Beautiful.

Clarence Babineaux, of SGB Architects, designed the top choice.

The gateway’s proposed location is on Interstate 20 near the Interstate 220 ramp at the now-closed site of the rest area.

“By its sheer size with a 199′ flagpole topped with a 30′-by-50′ flag and a pair of restored, authentic B-52 wings, the gateway will make a great first impression as we show our patriotism,” Bryan said.

The gateway committee is in the very early phases of the project with much work to accomplish, including determining the overall estimated cost, identifying funding, necessary permits and expanded drawings to determine the feasibility of constructing the winning concept, she added.

“Because we are still determining the feasibility of this design, there may be adjustments to the concept as we move forward with this process,” Bryan said. “Additional information will be released as we progress with the planning and design of this project.”

Members of the gateway committee agreed with community voters who had selected the same top three during an online voting campaign.

Babineaux was closely followed by Mark Prevot, of Mark Prevot Design Services, in second place and Mike McSwain, of McSwain Architects, in third place. Also submitting proposals and receiving votes were Kevin Bryan, of Kevin Bryan Architect, Chris Merckle, of Somdal Associates, and Jeff Spikes, of iArchitecture.

Lynn Bryan said more than 1,400 votes were received during the one-week campaign.

“Keep Bossier Beautiful would like to extend a special thanks to all the architects and community leaders who are making this project possible,” she added. “KBB is honored to be a part of this process as we work together to continue the mission of beautifying Bossier.”