Repentance Park opens downtown

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - City leaders unveiled a new park for Downtown called Repentance Park Tuesday. The park replaces the one sandwiched between the Old State Capitol building and the RiverCenter Arena.

At first glance the multi-million dollar renovation looks like a big empty field.

The space used to feature an outdated concrete trench filled with water which emptied into a large and flowing fountain.

$4 million later and the trench and fountain have been removed.

The park features 750 mini water jets which create a fountain similar to the one outside of the Shaw Center.

The mayor says the new design will save the city-parish $300,000 a year in maintenance costs.

"Until you actually see it yourself you don't have an idea of the beauty this brings to the city of Baton Rouge and a chance for families to interact with water and nature at the same time," said Mayor-President Kip Holden.

The park is set up to be a picnic and play spot. The city parish plans to have balls and Frisbees available for people to play with while visiting the park.

Organizers will use the park as soon as Friday for the popular Live After 5 concert series. The concerts will have to be moved because of a problem with the "Crest," a canopy sculpture that will eventually tower over the stage area.

That canopy cost tax payers $900,000 and the final piece didn't fit.

It was supposed to be finished two months ago.

"There's a piece at the very end that didn't quite fit and it was an inch and half off," said Davis Rhorer with the Downtown Development District.  "We just have to get it right. So we're working on it. It's going to happen."

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