Central, Louisiana

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Central, Louisiana
"A community that cares"[1]
Location of Central in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Central in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Coordinates: 30°33′16″N 91°02′12″W / 30.55444°N 91.03667°W / 30.55444; -91.03667Coordinates: 30°33′16″N 91°02′12″W / 30.55444°N 91.03667°W / 30.55444; -91.03667
Country United States
State Louisiana
ParishEast Baton Rouge
 • MayorDavid Barrow[2] (Republican)
 • Police ChiefRoger Corcoran (Republican)[2]
 • Total62.53 sq mi (161.95 km2)
 • Land62.26 sq mi (161.24 km2)
 • Water0.27 sq mi (0.71 km2)
66 ft (20 m)
 • Total26,864
 • Estimate 
 • Density471.55/sq mi (182.06/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code(s)225
FIPS code22-13960

Central is the thirteenth-largest city in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is the second largest city in East Baton Rouge Parish. Central became the state's newest city in April 2005.[5] It is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2019 the city estimated its population at 29,357 residents.[6]


Long an unincorporated suburb of Baton Rouge, the citizens of Central voted to incorporate as a city on April 23, 2005, despite opposition from the parish. The U.S. Postal Service allows residents to use "Central, LA" with their current ZIP code.[citation needed]

Businessperson Russell Starns stated that the incorporation of Central, which took place in 2005, was a byproduct of the area's desire to establish a school system separate from East Baton Rouge Parish's; the Louisiana State Legislature allowed Central to operate a separate school system only after the city incorporated; Starns was the person who headed the incorporation movement.[7]

It had about 25,000 residents when it incorporated.[7] Former Central High School principal Shelton "Mac" Watts became the temporary mayor upon the incorporation of the city. Formal elections were held on April 1, 2006, in which voters chose incumbent Watts with 86 percent of the 18,000 votes cast.[citation needed]

In November 2006, the voters of the state passed a constitutional amendment authorizing the creation of the Central Community School District. The amendment authorized Central to govern its own public school system. Central operates its own police and fire departments. Other services, such as water, sewerage and trash, are still operated by the city-parish. Utilities are provided by DEMCO and Entergy.[citation needed]

On January 9, 2007, Governor Kathleen Blanco appointed the interim members of the new Central Community School Board. The board appointed Mike Faulk as the first superintendent. The new school system began operation on July 1, 2007.[citation needed]

WAFB wrote "Central was one of the areas of East Baton Rouge Parish that sustained significant flooding" in regards to the 2016 Louisiana floods.[8] Mayor Jr. Shelton stated that the number of people living in Central with complications from the flooding was 25,000.[9]


Central is located in the east-central part of East Baton Rouge. It is situated between two rivers with the Comite River on its west border and the Amite River, which forms the border with Livingston Parish. These two rivers converge at the bottom of the city.

Louisiana Highway 408 passes through the center of Central, leading west 7 miles (11 km) to Interstate 110 in the northern part of Baton Rouge. Downtown Baton Route is 13 miles (21 km) southwest of Central. Louisiana Highway 37 passes through the eastern part of Central, leading northeast 30 miles (48 km) to Greensburg, southwest 8 miles (13 km) to Monticello, and southwest 18 miles (29 km) to Baton Rouge.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the total area of Central is 62.5 square miles (161.9 km2), of which 62.2 square miles (161.2 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.7 km2), or 0.44%, is water.[10]

Government and infrastructure[edit]

The municipal government only has three direct employees: the mayor, an assistant, and an administrative officer. The remainder of city services are contracted to private companies. The municipal government's only source of revenue, as of 2015, is a 2% sales tax. This was instituted at its incorporation and, since that time, had not been revised.[7]

The school district and fire department are funded separately and instituted independent taxing districts. The city government does not pay to maintain many of the roads as they are owned by the State of Louisiana and/or East Baton Rouge Parish.[7]

The Police Department has only a small number of officers on duty at any given time with a majority of law enforcement being done by the East Baton Rouge Sheriffs Office and the Louisiana State Police.

The Central Fire Protection District #4 operates fire stations and provides fire protection services.[11]

The U.S. Postal Service operates the Central Post Office and the Greenwell Springs Post Office.[12][13]


Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Residents are zoned to the Central Community School District.

The city's public schools are:

  • Bellingrath Hills Elementary
  • Tanglewood Elementary
  • Central Intermediate
  • Central Middle School
  • Central High School

The schools were acquired from the East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools in 2007.[14]

Prior to the acquisition:[15]

  • Bellingrath Hills Elementary School served a section of eastern Central.[16] Tanglewood Elementary School served a section of western Central.[17] Other schools serving Central included Greenbrier Elementary School,[16] Northeast Elementary School, and White Hills Elementary School.[17]
  • Central Middle School served a large section of central Central, but other portions were zoned to other schools, including Glen Oaks Middle School and Northeast Middle School.[18]
  • Most of Central was zoned to Central High School.

Private schools[edit]

Private schools within Central's School District boundaries include:

Public libraries[edit]

East Baton Rouge Parish Library operates the Central Branch Library. Central's first library opened in the W.R. Edwards Store in 1940. The store needed room for expansion, so the library closed in 1944. It restarted activities in a permanent building in November of the following year. The library moved to a 2,604-square-foot (241.9 m2) leased building on April 10, 1972. The library purchased that building in 1982. The current library, with 18,263 square feet (1,696.7 m2) of space, opened in June 2002.[20]

The Greenwell Springs Regional Branch Library is in nearby Monticello.[21]


"CentralSpeaks" and "Central City News" are two of the locally produced weekly newspaper(s) in Central. The Advocate is the official journal of the city.


Racial Composition 2018
White 87.3%[22]
Black, African-American 10.3%[22]
Other 2.4%[22]
Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)29,357[4]9.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[23]

Notable persons[edit]


  1. ^ City of Central official website
  2. ^ a b "Election Returns: East Baton Rouge Parish". Louisiana Secretary of State. November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  3. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  5. ^ "List of municipalities in Louisiana", Wikipedia, 2019-10-15, retrieved 2020-02-01
  6. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d McClure, Olivia (2015-07-07). "Ten years after becoming a city, Central is growing but getting by with 2% sales tax, 3 city employees". The Advocate. Retrieved 2017-01-06.
  8. ^ "Central Community Schools System announces plans for returning to class". WAFB. 2016-08-24. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  9. ^ "Central mayor says he's focused on clean-up". WAFB. 2016-08-24. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  10. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Central city, Louisiana". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  11. ^ "CentralFireMap_2015.jpg." Central Fire Protection District #4. Retrieved on January 7, 2017.
  12. ^ "Central." U.S. Postal Service. Retrieved on January 7, 2017. "13515 HOOPER RD BATON ROUGE, LA 70818-2912"
  13. ^ "Greenwell Springs." U.S. Postal Service. Retrieved on January 7, 2017. "22801 GREENWELL SPRINGS RD GREENWELL SPRINGS, LA 70739-9998"
  14. ^ "CENTRAL COMMUNITY SCHOOL BOARD v. EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD." Louisiana Court of Appeals. Retrieved on January 6, 2017. "The Central Community School Board shall begin actual operation of providing for the education of students within its jurisdiction on July 1, 2007. "Beginning on the date the school board begins actual operation of providing for the education of students and thereafter, ․ all lands, buildings, and improvements, facilities, and other property having title vested in the public and subject to management, administration, and control by the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board for public education purposes but located within the geographic boundaries of the Central community school system or used to provide student transportation services to such facilities, or both, shall be managed, administered, and controlled by the Central Community School Board." and "The four schools located in Central are:  Central High School[...]"
  15. ^ "City Maps & Directories Archived 2017-01-07 at the Wayback Machine." City of Central. Retrieved on January 6, 2017. Note the map at the bottom: "Proposed Central Incorporation" - the city incorporated in 2005 and this was the proposed boundary which came to fruition
  16. ^ a b "mapselema-l.pdf." East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools. April 26, 2005. Retrieved on January 6, 2017. p. 4/26 has the map for Bellingrath Hills Elementary School. Greenbrier's map is on page 18/26.
  17. ^ a b "mapselemm-z.pdf." East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools. April 26, 2005. Retrieved on January 6, 2017. p. 15/23 has the map for Tanglewood Elementary School. Northeast is on p. 5/23 and White Hills is on p. 21/23.
  18. ^ "mapsmiddle.pdf." East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools. April 26, 2005. Retrieved on January 6, 2017. p. 3/13 has the map for Central Middle School. Glen Oaks is on page 6/13 and Northeast Middle School is on page 8/13.
  19. ^ "History". St. Alphonsus Catholic School. Retrieved 2020-04-21. In 1962 the mission was established as a new parish [...] Only one year after its inception, a parish school with 131 students in grades one to four was opened. - Logically this means the school opened in 1963
  20. ^ "Central Branch Library." East Baton Rouge Parish Library. Retrieved on January 7, 2017. "11260 Joor Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70818"
  21. ^ "Greenwell Springs Road Regional Branch Library." East Baton Rouge Parish Library. Retrieved on January 7, 2017. "11300 Greenwell Springs Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70814"
  22. ^ a b c "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Central city, Louisiana; East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana; Louisiana". www.census.gov. Retrieved 2019-08-03.
  23. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  24. ^ "Representative Barry Ivey". house.louisiana.gov. Archived from the original on October 5, 2013. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  25. ^ Gyan, Joe Jr. (2017-05-11). "Will Hayden, ex-'Sons of Guns star, sentenced to life in prison plus 40 years on Baton Rouge rape convictions". The Advocate (Louisiana). Retrieved 2017-05-14.
  26. ^ "Additional Measures for COVID-19 Stay at Home (Proclamation Number 33 JBE 2020)" (PDF).
  27. ^ "State of Emergency for COVID-19 Extension of Emergency Provisions (Proclamation Number 41 JBE 2020)" (PDF).
  28. ^ "Louisiana pastor cited for defying coronavirus order hosts hundreds on Palm Sunday". NBC News. Retrieved 2020-04-10.
  29. ^ writer, DAVID J. MITCHELL | Staff. "Central pastor arrested, released after accusations he nearly hit protester with bus". The Advocate. Retrieved 2020-04-21.

External links[edit]