River City, City Between the Rivers
"A Community That Cares"
|Parish||East Baton Rouge|
|• Mayor||Wade Evans (Republican)|
|• Police Chief||Roger Corcoran (Republican)|
|• Total||62.53 sq mi (161.95 km2)|
|• Land||62.26 sq mi (161.24 km2)|
|• Water||0.27 sq mi (0.71 km2)|
|Elevation||66 ft (20 m)|
|• Density||474.89/sq mi (183.35/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
Central is a city in the U.S. state of Louisiana, second largest city in East Baton Rouge Parish, and part of the Baton Rouge metropolitan statistical area. The state's newest incorporated city in April 2005, Central had a 2020 census population of 29,565.
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.
Businessman Russell Starns headed the incorporation movement, saying it was based on residents' desire to establish a school system separate from that of East Baton Rouge Parish. The Louisiana State Legislature allowed Central to operate a separate school system only after the city incorporated.
It had about 25,000 residents when it incorporated. 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 elected incumbent Watts with 86 percent of the 18,000 votes cast.
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, trash, and emergency medical services are still operated by the city-parish. Utilities are provided by DEMCO and Entergy.
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.
Television station WAFB reported "Central was one of the areas of East Baton Rouge Parish that sustained significant flooding" in the 2016 Louisiana floods. Mayor Jr. Shelton stated that the number of people living in Central who were affected by the flooding was 25,000.
The city of 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 southern borders 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 Rouge 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.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
|Black or African American (non-Hispanic)||3,439||11.63%|
|Hispanic or Latino||1,349||4.56%|
As of the 2020 United States census, there were 29,565 people, 10,233 households, and 7,781 families residing in the city. At the 2019 American Community Survey, the racial and ethnic makeup of the city was 86.9% non-Hispanic white, 8.5% Black and African American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% some other race, 1.1% two or more races, and 2.7% Hispanic and Latin American of any race. The median age among its population was 39.5, and there was a median income of $80,015, making Central one of the most wealthy communities in the Baton Rouge metropolitan area.
Government and infrastructure
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.
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.
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.
East Baton Rouge Parish Emergency Medical Services provides emergency ambulance services and is operated by the city-parish.
Primary and secondary schools
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
Prior to the acquisition:
- Bellingrath Hills Elementary School served a section of eastern Central. Tanglewood Elementary School served a section of western Central. Other schools serving Central included Greenbrier Elementary School, Northeast Elementary School, and White Hills Elementary School.
- 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.
- Most of Central was zoned to Central High School.
Private schools within Central's School District boundaries include:
- Central Christian Academy
- Central Private School
- St. Alphonsus Catholic School of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge, in Greenwell Springs - Established in 1963, its initial enrollment was 131. It now is a full K-8 school though initially it had grades 1–4.
- MTI School of Ministry
- Galilee Baptist Academy
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.
"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.
- Barry Ivey, member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
- Will Hayden (in Greenwell Springs), reality TV personality and convicted felon now serving life in prison plus 40 years for sex crimes
- Tony Spell, pastor of Life Tabernacle Church in Central; during the COVID-19 pandemic, defied efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus and continued to hold church services for hundreds of the faithful; charged with six counts of violating the Governor's Executive Order barring large gatherings; charged with aggravated assault for allegedly attempting to run over a protestor with a bus
- Mack A. "Bodi" White, Jr., member of the Louisiana State Senate
- City of Central official website
- "Election Returns: East Baton Rouge Parish". Louisiana Secretary of State. November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
- "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
- "Ten years after becoming a city, Central is growing but getting by with 2% sales tax, 3 city employees". The Advocate. Archived from the original on January 6, 2017. Retrieved July 31, 2021.
- "QuickFacts: Central city, Louisiana". United States Census Bureau.
- McClure, Olivia (July 7, 2015). "Ten years after becoming a city, Central is growing but getting by with 2% sales tax, 3 city employees". The Advocate. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
- "DEMCO carrying out 'days-long' plan to restore power". WBRZ. Retrieved July 31, 2021.
- "About - Central Community School System". www.centralcss.org. Retrieved July 31, 2021.
- "Central Community Schools System announces plans for returning to class". WAFB.com. August 24, 2016. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
- "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.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
- "2019 Demographic and Housing Estimates". data.census.gov. Archived from the original on July 31, 2021. Retrieved July 31, 2021.
- "Geography Profile: Central city, Louisiana". data.census.gov. Archived from the original on July 31, 2021. Retrieved July 31, 2021.
- "CentralFireMap_2015.jpg." Central Fire Protection District #4. Retrieved on January 7, 2017.
- "Department of EMS" City of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton Rouge Department of EMS website. Retrieved on August 12, 2021.
- "Central." U.S. Postal Service. Retrieved on January 7, 2017. "13515 HOOPER RD BATON ROUGE, LA 70818-2912"
- "Greenwell Springs." U.S. Postal Service. Retrieved on January 7, 2017. "22801 GREENWELL SPRINGS RD GREENWELL SPRINGS, LA 70739-9998"
- "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[...]"
- "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
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "History". St. Alphonsus Catholic School. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
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
- "Central Branch Library." East Baton Rouge Parish Library. Retrieved on January 7, 2017. "11260 Joor Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70818"
- "Greenwell Springs Road Regional Branch Library." East Baton Rouge Parish Library. Retrieved on January 7, 2017. "11300 Greenwell Springs Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70814"
- "Representative Barry Ivey". house.louisiana.gov. Archived from the original on October 5, 2013. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
- Gyan, Joe Jr. (May 11, 2017). "Will Hayden, ex-'Sons of Guns star, sentenced to life in prison plus 40 years on Baton Rouge rape convictions". The Advocate (Louisiana). Retrieved May 14, 2017.
- "Additional Measures for COVID-19 Stay at Home (Proclamation Number 33 JBE 2020)" (PDF).
- "State of Emergency for COVID-19 Extension of Emergency Provisions (Proclamation Number 41 JBE 2020)" (PDF).
- "Louisiana pastor cited for defying coronavirus order hosts hundreds on Palm Sunday". NBC News. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
- writer, DAVID J. MITCHELL | Staff. "Central pastor arrested, released after accusations he nearly hit protester with bus". The Advocate. Retrieved April 21, 2020.