Nearly a decade in the making, Bossier Parish will soon have a new central library and history center.
Last week the Bossier Parish Police Jury adopted a resolution giving the green light to the purchase of 3.1 acres of land located on Beckett Street, for the construction of a new central library.
“We really want to be a hub for learning and information. We’re so excited about bringing this library and our history center more into the 21st century,” said Heather McEntee, director of Bossier Parish Libraries.
She added the new 39,000 square foot Bossier Parish Central Library and History Center will have a multitude of new amenities. These will include a very large multi-purpose meeting room, larger computer lab, an area for teens, a cafe, and a makers space that will include a 3D printer and a small film and music studio.
“The History Center will include interactive exhibits for kids of all ages,” McEntee said. “Who doesn’t like to go into a science museum or a children’s museum and be able to interact with the exhibit?”
At this time, a schematic design has been approved by the library board, although there might be some changes to the design once building begins.
Details of what would become of the existing central library and history center building are still up for discussion.
“The City and Parish have expressed interest, but no decisions have been made,” said McEntree.
Once the ground breaking of the new location has taken place, it is estimated, weather permitting, that the new facility will be built and open in 18 months.
“I am very grateful to the City of Bossier City and to the Bossier Parish Police Jury for all of their support. This would not have happened without any of them. I can’t thank them enough,” said McEntree.
As previously reported by the Press-Tribune, the Bossier City Council voted at its April 2 meeting to sell the land to the police jury for a new library.
Specifically, the land is 3.1 acres behind the current CNG refueling station off East Texas Street, across from the Civic Complex and near the current Central Library building.
Officials said the current building was slated to undergo a renovation, but when costs were assessed, the option to build a new facility was deemed more effective.
“Originally we looked at renovating the existing library. But you think if you are going to spend that kind of money and still have limited parking, we can build a new building and still be able to use the old building,” said Bossier Parish Administrator Bill Altimus previously told the Press-Tribune. “To revamp everything in the existing library, it would cost between $8-$9 million.”
The land is appraised at a value of $800,000.
You can see a gallery of rendering by Prevot Design, provided courtesy of Bossier Parish: