Let me take this opportunity once again to wish everyone a Happy New Year 2016! It is hard to believe that Christmas is over and that yet another new year has begun. I have made many plans regarding what I want to accomplish in 2016. I hope that you have done the same.
There are many great and exciting things on the horizon for Bossier Parish in 2016. It is going to be a great year for sure! I simply can not wait to see what we will be discussing in terms of Bossier Parish progress at this time next year.
Before we talk too much about 2016, I would like to take this one last chance to talk about some of the tremendous accomplishments and news making events that took place in Bossier Parish in 2015. In last week’s edition, our Managing Editor (Amanda Simmons) and I reviewed some of the top news making events that took place in Bossier Parish during 2015.
First of all, 2015 was a historic year in Bossier Parish. We saw Red River flooding- as the Red River reached it’s highest level in 70 years. We saw Barksdale AFB get it’s first ever 4-Star General when General Robin Rand took command of BAFB’s Global Strike Command on July 28, 2015.
Next, this past Fall, we saw the opening of Bossier’s new Dement Crossing retail development. Hobby Lobby opened first, followed by Kroger Marketplace…and then, the opening of many restaurants near the tail end of 2015.
Also, the Bossier Parish School System opened two new state-of-the-art schools in 2015 with the opening of both Kingston Elementary and the Bossier Parish School for Technology and Innovative Learning (BPSTIL).
In terms of Bossier Parish infrastructure, the parish’s new $55 million sewer system is now entering the final construction phases and will be coming online very soon. This is a huge plus – as the population of Bossier Parish keeps growing ever so quickly.
One of the big development/growth items from 2015 is Bossier City’s committment to re-develop/re-vitalize Bossier City’s downtown area along Barksdale Blvd. near the Louisiana Boardwalk. The entire revitalization project will take about 10 years with the first phase beginning early in 2016. This development is also a huge plus – as it will be an attarction for the many young “Millennials” that comprise the major part of the workforce for the new Computer Science Corporation (CSC) that is being built at Bossier City’s Cyber Innovation Center.
Last, but certainly not least, Dr. Rick Bateman was named the new chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College. This was very exciting news – as Dr. Bateman was an excellent choice for this position and his selection ensures that BPCC will have excellent leadership as it strives to achieve unparallelled academic success in training the workforce professionals that will shape and prepare our region for the future.
Bossier City also recieved a monumental piece of history in the form of a 16 ft. steel beam recovered from the destruction of the former World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001. The beam was installed as a permanent standing structure at Bossier City’s Liberty Garden located at the Bossier Municipal Complex.
In 2016, many of the events and projects mentioned above that were not fully completed in 2015 will be completed in 2016 and beyond. Furthermore, there will be many exciting new projects and events that will take place in 2016. For sure, these projects and events will shape the future of Bossier Parish for many years to come.
Yes, Bossier Parish has an extremely bright future! Again, I simply can not wait to see what happens in 2016!
Randy Brown is Publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org