Aug 18, 2014 7:17 PM by Ashlea Bullington

Modernizing New Iberia History

A piece of New Iberia history might be getting a make over.

Church Alley, in between West Main and St. Peter's Church, could become the area's first pocket park.

When the Duperia family donated the land to St. Peter's, Church Alley was established so nuns could walk from Mount Carmel convent to the church. But, almost 200 years later, the alley is in disrepair and in need of an upgrade.

"It has really become a disrepair. It was time for us to do something to really upgrade it. We have so many downtown events that it will be a great attention to our downtown," said New Iberia Mayor Hilda Curry.

Wanting to respect its history, city officials decided to transform the alley into a pocket park. A pocket park is a small park accessible to the general public, frequently created on a single vacant building lot or on small, irregular pieces of land in an urban area.

"It will be very durable, so there is no maintenance, no upkeep required. Some lighting, concrete pavers and then the bicycle trail, is something I think will add a unique element to our community," said park designer Freddie Decourt.

The pocket park is estimated to cost $130,000. Generous contributions to the city have $30,000 of the total cost covered. City leaders are now waiting on final word for the $100,000 thousand grant. Even though the decision is still up in the air, officials are confident that they will receive the grant and the alley can be transformed.

If the grant is approved, work on the park could start in early spring, with the entire project being completed in a year.



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