Tuten Park as a classroom raises concern about safety

Tuten Park Classroom

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Calcasieu Parish School Board partnered up with the city of Lake Charles and McNeese State University to develop Tuten Park into an indoor and outdoor science classroom.

The 24-acre woodland park will have nature trails, wetland ponds and time lapse cameras to observe animals. The new learning environment will help promote science in the area.

"Whenever we can meet the needs of the young people in the area, and families and schools, we're doing a good thing and I think it will eventually, as people learn more about it, it'll draw from other areas," Annette Ballard, District Four, member of the CPSB said.

Tuten Park is within Ballard's district and she said she's excited about the park turning into a learning resource for schools in her district and around the Parish.

"I think it's exciting to have the educational institutions working closely with the city to provide an environment for our children that's going to be absolutely wonderful," Ballard said.

But concerns about the park's safety have come up due to Tuten Park's history with indecent behavior happening on the grounds causing the park to close several years ago.

Ballard said this will not be an issue once the park project is finished.

"I know that there were some issues before that caused a great deal of concern," she said. "But those who are working on this park are taking every measure possible to make sure that we have a safe environment for our young people, for our families and it should be just a wonderful experience."

Ballard said the park should be opening this year, but is uncertain on the exact date.

KPLC 7News will stay on top of the park reopening and make the information available as we receive it.

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