Changes Underway for Shreveport's Riverfront - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Changes Underway for Shreveport's Riverfront

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    Entertainers, fans and everyday downtown visitors say it's time for a change to downtown Shreveport.

    City officials say they're on the way, but a million dollars in riverfront development improvements aren't going to be implemented  until 2015.
    "We're very fortunate in the city of Shreveport that Festival Plaza is such a beautiful place. A lot of cities have to create a festival site. Ya know we have one that's beautiful," said SPAR director Shelly Ragle.

    Shreveport's Parks and Recreational Director, Shelly Ragle says, although it's a beautiful place, it's still incomplete.

    She and some other city officials say renovations are needed to make the musicians and their fans more comfortable.

    In 2015, just over one million dollars is coming from the Red River Waterway Commission to renovate the riverfront.

    The money will be used to build restrooms for the fans on the riverfront, facilities that stars can use as changing rooms and a permanent stage covering for performers.  
    "Oh it's absolutely needed to realize that you don't have things like restrooms and those sort of facilities on the riverside where most of the attractions are and the people end up spending most of the time with their families, but instead they have to keep running back and forth against a huge parking lot to Festival Plaza and it's something that should've been considered the very highest priority for this area, " said Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover.

    When families go to enjoy events on the riverfront right now, they have to cross Clyde Fant Parkway and head to facilities across the busy parkway.
    Some say it's dangerous and simply not convenient especially with the little ones.

    "I think that would be great so that it won't be a hassle trying to cross the street with the kids trying to get them to the restroom on time,  " said parent Lakeyia Bettis.

    Even when bands come into town their buses must serve as both a dressing room and a green room.

    Officials say the money from the Red River Waterway Commission will help build new facilities to help build up the riverfront and make it a more appealing place to play.
    "What was happening was when we were trying to do events at Riverfront Park, it was very expensive. Everyone would have to rent a tent or cover. Or you'd have to bring RV's to create dressing rooms and things just kinda got complicated, So what we're trying to do with the Red River Waterway Commission is to figure out how we can add amenities that make it easier for organizers to do activities, that way we have more to offer the citizens, " said Ragle.

    Ragle also says better facilities will help generate more activities, meaning a better quality of life, and hopefully mean more people will want to live here in the ArkLaTex.

    She says they hope to start on the renovations in spring 2015.

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