Shreveport building 2.4 acre park near downtown

Updated: May. 21, 2018 at 8:48 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A part of Shreveport's downtown area will be getting a facelift in the coming months.

Mayor Ollie Tyler unveiled plans Monday morning for a 2.4-acre park set to be built in the Shreveport Common, which is located just west of downtown. The park is being funded by a $1.2 million grant from the Economic Development Agency.

"Have you heard anybody say there's nothing to do in Shreveport?" said Wendy Benscoter, executive director of Shreveport Common. "I'm so excited that if we weren't sitting here right now, I'd be screaming in my car."

Once the park is built, officials are hoping to add an amphitheater for performances and shows, a misting shower to cool off, as well as a large TV monitor. Benscoter said the park is going to mesh with the surrounding architecture's artistic vibes.

"You'll have about an acre-and-a-half of grass, then you'll have winding walking trails that go throughout the park," said Benscoter. "We're talking about Shakespeare in the park at night, we're talking about having yoga classes during the day, you might have a Frisbee tournament, you might have a walk-a-thon."

Jeff Everson, a Shreveport city councilman for District 'B,' said within 10 years, the park will generate over $217 million for the city.

"It's not something we're doing haphazardly, it's something that's had a lot of thought go into it," said Everson.

KSLA News 12 pressed Everson on safety surrounding the park, as well. He said he's not concerned.

"Shreveport Common is really meant to be a place that people from all different parts of the city feel comfortable coming to," said Everson.

City officials said a groundbreaking ceremony will be taking place in about two months, but the park itself will take six more months to fully complete.

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