For years, many Northwestern State University students and long-term residents alike have complained about Natchitoches’ lack of places to socialize. However, city officials recently announced plans for the construction of a multi-purpose sports park, which will bring more recreational opportunities to residents of Natchitoches.
The park, which will cost an estimated $12 million to construct, will be located on 100 acres between the NSU Recreation Complex and Dark Woods Haunted Attraction on Highway 6.
Construction is expected to begin in spring 2018 and conclude in summer 2019.
According to Chris Laurence, city Recreation and Parks director, this project is in partnership with NSU and will benefit students by creating a new space to hang out as well as job opportunities.
Pending approval, the city hopes to connect the park with the NSU Recreation Complex, which would add an additional 100 acres.
According to KTBS, Mayor Lee Posey says the park will be paid for with money from a water and sewer sales tax. Once it opens, a portion of money made at the venue will go to paying off bonds—a process that will take an estimated 12 to 15 years.
Facilities include a soccer field, football field, baseball diamond, fishing area and trails for walking and biking.
“The park will benefit the community in several ways,” Laurence said. “I believe it has the potential to draw in people of all ages to enjoy the outdoors and take advantage of facilities we currently don’t have in Natchitoches.”
In addition to providing a place for citizens of Natchitoches to mingle, city officials are hoping to draw in people from out of town with the new addition. The park would have all the necessary amenities to host sports tournaments for elementary, middle and high school games as well as NSU games.
According to the Natchitoches Parish Journal, a name for the park has not yet been decided, but a decision is expected by Jan. 22.