In December 2012 the Baton Rouge Speech & Hearing Foundation (BRSHF) began construction on its new Emerge Center for Communication, Behavior & Development at Louisiana State University’s (LSU’s) Innovation Park. Founded in 1960 in response to a rubella epidemic, the nonprofit organization offers clinically-effective therapies to children and adults with communication difficulties from the Greater Baton Rouge area, regardless of their ability to pay. As the primary provider of early intervention and education programs for children on the autism spectrum in southern Louisiana, the organization has outgrown its current facility due to great demand for its programming. The foundation’s current 9,000-square-foot building can accommodate 46 children with autism but has a lengthy waiting list. The new facility will increase that capacity to 100 children. The occupational therapy division will increase its capacity to 60 patients weekly. Services will be offered five days a week instead of the one day per week that is currently offered. The Emerge Center will focus on early intervention for children with autism between the ages of 18 months to 6 years. The new facility will feature an auditorium, an occupational therapy gym and 10 group-therapy classrooms. A pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classroom will serve up to 12 children at a time. The foundation is committed to serving those who have no other resource in the community. The quality and uniqueness of its programs and the reputation of its staff have also led many who can afford services elsewhere to utilize the foundation’s resources.
The project, located on a 57-acre site, is the design, procurement, construction and startup of a new facility to produce a low-global-warming blowing agent and propellant (technical name – 1234ze) used in insulation and aerosols. The project’s environmental benefits include: ultra-low global warming potential, zero ozone depletion potential and a near drop-in replacement of R-134a. 1234ze has been accepted for use and sale in foam and aerosols by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It is also currently used in Europe and Japan, with the majority of demand coming from Europe. As a significant quality job creation and retention project, it was greatly supported by state and local governments, receiving state and local commitments through the Industrial Tax Exemption, Retention and Modernization Program and Quality Jobs Program. Honeywell’s Baton Rouge facility was built in 1945 and continues to serve as one of its main manufacturing sites for its specialty materials business. Products made at the facility are shipped to customers around the world.
In September 2010 the ExxonMobil YMCA began construction on a 12,000 square foot facility located on 2.8 acres of land at Howell Place in North Baton Rouge, LA. The site, donated by Howell Place developer Richard Preis, is part of a 200-acre plot of north Baton Rouge land located at I-110 and Harding Boulevard that has been transformed from unused acreage to a business park. It is home to various businesses including, Baton Rouge Surgical Hospital, Hilton Garden Inn, Microtel Inn, Marriott Spring Hill Suites, Neighbors Federal Credit Union, Wal-Mart Distribution Center, Burger King, IHOP, Country Kitchen, Sonic Drive-In Restaurant, Foot Surgical Center and Howell Place Dialysis Center. This new facility will allow the YMCA to fulfill its mission of building “Strong Kids, Strong Families and Strong Communities” for the North Baton Rouge Community. The YMCA of the Capital Area currently has 28,894 members and serves an additional 100,000 people through programs in the community. With the addition of this facility, the YMCA will have the unique capacity to address many of the challenges facing the community today, helping to nurture the potential of youth and teens, improve health and well-being and provide opportunities to support neighbors.
The Americana YMCA project was the construction of a 26,000 square foot community facility, with expansion capability of another 18,000 square feet, by the YMCA in Zachary, Louisiana. As a targeted population transaction, the project has created jobs, with at least 40% filled by residents of low-income households. The facility includes fitness space, a nursery, an outdoor pool and tennis court area and a 4,000 square foot community center. In addition to jobs, the project also provided needed community services through programs such as: the Black Achievers program, Healthy Kids Day program, childcare programs, before and after school care, youth sports, free health and wellness seminars, community health fairs, free meals to school-age children, the Homeless Outreach program and financial scholarships to people in need through the Changing Lives Campaign. The facility capacity is 650 average daily users.