A ground-breaking ceremony was recently hosted by Friends of Bayou Lafourche in honor of Phase 1 of the Nicholls Bayou-Side Redevelopment Project beginning, as reported by HoumaToday. The improvements will be taking place on the Nicholls batture property, which is located near the La. 1 and Bowie Road intersection.
The park will have many public amenities, including an off-street parking lot, paddle-powered boat loading and unloading areas, a custom kayak boat slide, a pavilion, boardwalk, floating dock, a link to the current walking trail, seating, bicycle racks, and more.
The park’s initial design started back in 2017, and it was a collaboration of Nicholls, the Friends of Bayou Lafourche, the Bayou Lafourche Freshwater District, Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou, the City of Thibodaux and Duplantis Design Group. The park itself is set to occupy 7.5 acres, located between Audubon Avenue and Nanny Price Lane.
The project’s master plan was released in 2018, and it included designs for an outdoor classroom, an amphitheater,sculpture pads, a boathouse, a boat launch intended for special use, covered seating and a multi-use building. It is estimated that the overall production would cost $8.1 million.
The master plan, which was designed by the Duplantis Design Group, caused much excitement for Nicholls State University and the Friends of Bayou Lafourche. Among those parties providing input into the plan were various members of Nicholls administration, faculty, staff, and student leaders.
Other stakeholders participating in providing input were Representatives of the City of Thibodaux, Lafourche Parish Government, Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District, Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou, Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, Bayou Rowing Association.
All permitting and construction bidding for the project was completed in late 2020, with Foret Contracting Group being chosen as the project’s construction contractor and T. Baker Smith
being hired to complete design work, conduct topographic surveys, geotechnical studies, and other monumental tasks of engineering.
The Director of Friends of the Bayou Lafourche, Ryan M. Perque recently shared his excitement for the ground-breaking in a recent news release. Perque said that the entire project, “required the trust of many individuals and organizations to bring this new facility to fruition, and I am incredibly grateful to those that had faith in Friends of Bayou Lafourche to get this project done. While this is a milestone for our organization, our work to revitalize Bayou Lafourche into a scenic waterway with recreational attractions is just beginning with several other brick and mortar projects slated for construction in the next two to three years.”
Another Stakeholder in the project, Nicholls State University President Jay Clune also took part in the Nicholls Bayou-Side project ground-breaking, saying, “friends of Bayou Lafourche is a wonderful partner of Nicholls State University, restoring the bayou that defines this institution,” Clune said. “The Bayou-Side Redevelopment will create a beautiful front yard for Nicholls and provide access for our campus community. I can certainly see this being a strong selling point when we tour students and their families around campus.”
With so much anticipation and excitement surrounding the project, it’s obvious to see that residents of the Houma-Thibodaux area as well as staff and students of Nicholls State University are particularly enthusiastic at the growth and development of their unique environment. And with such enthusiasm, residents cannot help but be encouraged at not only what the future may hold in terms of facility development but also moments of relaxation and community building that will assuredly come as a result of the park’s opening. Phase 1 of the project began on February 1st, and it is estimated that the park will be ready for public use in May of 2021.
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