Please see the following press release from Opelousas Downtown Development District (ODDD) about PROGRESS ON SOUTH CITY PARK RENOVATIONS AT DONALD GARDNER STADIUM. Also read the article about this project at https://www.stlandrynow.com/community/oddd-agrees-to-bond-4-7-million-for-stadium-track/?fbclid=IwAR3QagAZIcmc2M5gANRWW1YRNEs3IwRj_omlcO9fo03PcDlndcUI19vOr4o.
Opelousas, LA, May 19, 2023-
Opelousas Downtown Development District (ODDO), an economic development organization that invests in programs and projects that will improve the quality of life in Opelousas, voted this morning to secure a bond to help pay for major renovations at South City Park’s Donald Gardner Stadium, a hub of high school football in Opelousas.
Over the last eighteen months, stakeholders, community members, and a steering committee have worked with a design team to develop a visionary master plan for South City Park that includes new play structures, walking trails, event spaces, and major improvements to the existing stadium facilities. The stadium enhancements are the focus of Phase 1 construction plans, which will renovate the existing stadium, replace visitor restrooms and concessions facilities, and add a new running track around the football field.
“After months of planning and negotiation, we are excited to support the progress of Opelousas and St. Landry Parish by getting this transformational project moving. These stadium improvements will make it attractive to more teams, more tournaments, and the new track around the field will help us bring bigger regional competitions to Downtown,” said Lena Charles, chairwoman of the Opelousas Downtown Development District.
“South City Park has been a hub of community gatherings for generations, and it has the potential to bring so much more activity into the heart of Opelousas and St. Landry Parish. As we have seen in neighboring communities and around the country, parks can have huge impacts on quality of life and economic development, and this is our opportunity to make that happen here as well,” said Bill Rodier, CEO of St. Landry Economic Development.
Phase 1 is expected to cost roughly $6.7M, with the ODDO covering over 70% of that total. The ODDO board voted to secure a bond for $4.7M, with the remaining funding projected to come from the State of Louisiana, St. Landry Parish, and the City of Opelousas.
Opelousas Mayor Julius Alsandor was present for the ODDO vote, saying, “I believe in the transformational potential of the exciting renovations planned for South City Park. To help get this project off the ground, the City of Opelousas is covering some of the initial design costs for the project, and we are grateful that our other partners in Downtown, and at the Parish and the State, share this inspirational vision, and are investing in its success as well.”
Construction on the renovations and new facilities are expected to begin after the 2023 football season.
Note from St. Landry Now. The following is some information on the Opelousas Downtown Development District (ODDD) for all of you who have asked us about it:
The Opelousas Downtown Development District (ODDD), a seven-member appointed board, was created several years ago by state lawmakers to collect sales tax funding in restricted commercial areas of Opelousas to assist with the revitalization of downtown Opelousas, the heart of the city. According to the group website the following is the Mission Statement and Long-Term Priorities of the Opelousas Downtown Development District.
The Downtown Development District in collaboration with other local public and private entities is devoted to building leadership, progressing, and serving as the catalyst for economic growth and development in Downtown Opelousas. The DDD will encourage cooperation and collaboration by advancing a positive image of downtown and to plan and develop the designated commercial district to its potential, through economic development and historic preservation.
DDD Long-Term Priorities
- Improve and enhance pedestrian and bicycle accessibility within and into the downtown area
- Improve and enhance lighting and security through downtown corridor arteries
- Improve and enhance the aesthetic appearance of the downtown corridor arteries
- Identify and advocate for 1-2 anchor building redevelopment projects in the downtown core
- Spearhead the completion of a long-term downtown strategic growth plan
- Improve and enhance Broadband infrastructure and capacity
To learn more about the Opelousas Downtown Development District (ODDD) please visit the group’s website at https://www.opportunitystlandry.com/about/economic-development-districts/opelousas-downtown-development-district
or the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/opelousasdowntowndevelopmentdistrict/