The recreation center at BREC’s Anna T. Jordan Community Park located at 1750 Stilt Street has undergone an extensive renovation and expansion. Construction is complete and the center will officially open on Saturday, January 28 with a host of grand opening activities. A ribbon cutting will begin at 9 a.m. followed by an open house until noon. Grand opening activities will include giveaways, food (while supplies last and restrictions apply), tours of the recreation center, senior activities, game room fun, fitness demonstrations and technology and art classes.
Anna T. Jordan has a long history in East Baton Rouge Parish. The park is located in the northern Baton Rouge suburb of Scotlandville. The Scotlandville community began as a cluster of rural structures in 1900 and grew during the early twentieth century. By the mid-1930’s the area had developed an active business district.
In the early 1950’s, a professor by the name of Thomas Jefferson Jordan began developing land in the area, which led to the development one of the first African American neighborhoods in East Baton Rouge Parish. The majority of the new homeowners in this new neighborhood were World War II veterans and their families.
In 1953 Professor Jordan donated the first four acres of land that would later become BREC’s Anna T. Jordan
Park. The park is named in honor of wife, Anna Elizabeth Toliver Jordan. The original site for the park consisted of a small playground with a few pieces of play equipment. Soon after the park was opened, BREC began dramatic expansions and enhancements to the facilities. Several amenities were added including a recreation center, swimming pool, tennis courts, ball fields and additional playground equipment. Families came together for holiday events, birthdays, picnics and more. The park served as a venue for jazz and blues concerts, baseball and softball leagues, basketball and family reunions. Many notable figures in Baton Rouge spent their childhood days at Anna T. Jordan playing ball or enjoying the playground and countless children have learned to swim since the 1950’s at the Anna T. Jordan pool.
Over the years, Anna T. Jordan Community Park has served as the keystone to the community of Scotlandville playing a primary role in providing important recreation, cultural, social and quality of life enhancements for the community. More than a decade ago, as part of the “Imagine Your Parks” strategic plan, Anna T. Jordan Park was developed into a larger community park. Community parks are designed to serve a larger geographic area than a neighborhood park. There are a wide range of amenities designed to engage the entire family for a whole day. This park was the first community park developed under BREC’s “Imagine Your Parks” strategic plan. The “Imagine Your Parks” strategic plan was created after a year and half of surveys, community meetings, brainstorming sessions and public meetings. The results transformed the BREC park system featuring twelve new community parks, improved playgrounds, a growing trail system, five dog parks, Liberty Lagoon Water Park and more. The original “Imagine Your Parks” plan came to an end in 2014 and BREC immediately began the “Imagine Your Parks 2” plan, which will continue the transformation of the park system.
The renovations and expansion of the recreation center at Anna T. Jordan was made possible through funding from State Capital Outlay. While in the Louisiana Senate, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome championed the efforts to receive state funding and secured $1,435,000 for the project. The project totally $1,922,800 added 6,400 square feet of additional space to the recreation center that includes a new fitness center, conference room, computer lab, new restrooms, new storage spaces and a new dressing room for the gym stage. In addition, the gym is now air conditioned and the floor has been completely resurfaced just in time for the start of basketball season.
The recreation center is sure to be filled with activities as BREC has a variety of programming immediately available after the grand opening. On Mondays from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Cheernastics will be offered for ages 6 to 12. For those looking for fitness options, sign up for BREC’s Boot Camp on Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Zumba on Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Fitness 101 on the third Monday of every month. The center is also home to some fabulous adult leisure programs on Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon. Anna T. Jordan also offers a Youth 360 after school program and a Tiny Steps mother’s day out program. For more information on these programs call the recreation center at (225) 775-1707.
Anna T. Jordan is also home to BREC’s newest fitness center. The fitness center featuring brand new equipment such as free weights, treadmills and elliptical cross-trainers is open Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. and closed on Sundays. Visit BREC.org/fitness for information on memberships and fees. The center also has rental options available for birthday parties, meetings and more.
For more information on this event, contact BREC’s Volunteer and Special Events Manager Monica Dugas at 225-272-9200, ext. 446 or email@example.com.