By Stacey Tinsley, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bossier residents could look forward to a brand new Central Library building.
The Bossier City Council voted at its meeting April 2 to sell city land to the Bossier Parish 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.
The land is appraised at a value of $800,000.
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. “To revamp everything in the existing library, it would cost between $8-$9 million.”
Heather McEntee, director of the parish library system, said, “I’m excited about what we are planning on offering to the public. We’re trying to do more things for the community. See what the community wants and needs, and provide those services for them. We’re also trying to keep up with the growth in the parish.”
With a design not completed yet, McEntree expressed what possible amenities the new Central Library could have to offer patrons.
“With the new building, we will have a larger computer lab, training rooms, meeting room, more functional parking, and hopefully an outdoor space for the public to enjoy,” McEntee said.
Looking towards the project, Altimus said he believes the new Central Library building will be a nice addition for the entire community to enjoy.
“I have a great feeling that there will be a courtyard and hopefully a lot more parking. That would be a very nice asset to that whole area,” Altimus said.
Details of what would become of the existing Central Library building are still being worked out. But Altimus says there are multiple options on how to use that space.
“The existing library building is well kept up, it has a lot of life left in it. Their could be multiple possibilities of uses of that space between the city, the parish, the sheriff’s office, homeland security,” Altimus said. “I think there are a lot of opportunities there.”
The ordinance is subject to a second reading. Its final approval would be at the April 16 council meeting.
“After the second reading and approval from the Bossier City Council is completed, and we get a closing on the land, we are really hoping to get this out for bid by the end of the year,” McEntee said. “After we break ground, we are hoping to have the new facility built within 12-18 months and open to the public.”