Ten firms bid on Baton Rouge zoo, Greenwood Park redesign projects

Editor’s note: This story has been updated since original publication to correct the name of Nelson Byrd Wolz/Carbo Joint Venture, which was incorrectly provided, and to clarify the locations of Design Workshop and CRJA-IBI Group. Daily Report regrets the error.

A total of 10 design firms, both local and out-of-state, have submitted proposals to become the lead designers for comprehensive master plans for BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo and Greenwood Community Park.

Just two firms submitted proposals to overhaul the nearly 50-year-old zoo at its existing location: PGAV Destinations, a St. Louis, Missouri, firm that specializes in zoos and aquariums, theme parks, museums and resorts; and, Torre Design Consortium, a nearly 40-year-old design firm in New Orleans that also has extensive experience with zoos and aquariums, including the Audubon Zoo.

Eight firms, meanwhile, submitted proposals to redesign the remainder of the sprawling, 600-acre Greenwood Community Park.

They include Baton Rouge-based firms CSRS, Inc. and Duplantis Design Group;  Nelson Byrd Wolz/Carbo, a joint-venture between Charlottesville, Virginia-based Nelson Byrd Wolz Landscape Architecture and Baton Rouge’s Carbo Landscape Architecture; New Orleans-based Spachman Mossup Michaels/Rogers Partners; and, out-of-state firms CRJA-IBI Group, Boston; Design Workshop, Denver; Olin Design, Philadelphia; and Sasaki Associates, Watertown, Massachusetts.

BREC officials opened and officially recorded the proposals today. Separate review committees will now begin reviewing and scoring them, based on the criteria included in the official request for proposals.

“As we promised the community, BREC is moving very deliberately and carefully to choose the best possible designers to help us reimagine the Baton Rouge Zoo and Greenwood Community Park,” BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight says in a prepared statement. “We are excited by the interest these projects have received from design teams across the country and pleased with the caliber of the firms that took the time to develop comprehensive proposals for the committees to review.”

The committees will narrow down the candidates for the Greenwood project to a short list and conduct interviews of the top firms. Each committee will make a recommendation to the BREC Commission to consider at its August meeting.

Once the firms are selected and contracts are executed and signed, they will begin the process of evaluating the sites to determine what is feasible at each location and meet with business leaders, professional organizations, partners, public officials and members of the public to give input into the design of the master plans.

Those master plans will be presented to the public for input and to the BREC Commission for approval in 2019.

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