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Howell Community Park to receive $12M for children's 'Inspiration Center'

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BATON ROUGE - Baton Rouge leaders and business owners announced Tuesday that a children's "Inspiration Center," is planned to be built at Howell Community Center.

The Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Foundation hopes that the center will decrease crime in Baton Rouge. 

Leaders say the purpose of the center is to provide resources and opportunities to children to stop the crime before it starts. They believe that children turn to crime when they don't have a healthy environment, such as the neighborhoods they are living in.

WBRZ spoke with a man who said a center like this could have changed the outlook of his upbringing.

"With gun violence, you never know when it could happen. It could knock on your door or walk up to you type stuff. Idle time is the devil's playground. I believe we don't have enough resources or opportunities or things for the kids to do," Xavier Bazile said.

The project is estimated to cost $12 million, but $8 million has already been received by the state, city, and stakeholders. It will be next door to the new Howell Community Recreation and Pool Center.

Leaders expect to ground break on the project by the end of this year.

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