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Plans for new library on hold due to COVID-19

Stacey Tinsley/Bossier Press-Tribune Bossier Parish Library Circulation Assistant Phillip Martin works on a computer at the central library location.

Stacey Tinsley | Bossier Press-Tribune

Last August, 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.

Bidding for the new central library construction was to take place at the beginning of the summer but due to COVID-19, plans were put on hold.

“I’m meeting our architect for the first time in months on Monday. We’re going to take a look at the plans that we have and see if there is anything that we may need to change because our world is looking so different,” said Heather McEntee, director of Bossier Parish Libraries.

Originally the 39,000-square-foot Bossier Parish Central Library and History Center would have had a multitude of new amenities, which would include a very large multi-purpose meeting room, a larger computer lab, an area for teens, a café, and a makers space that included a 3D printer and a small film and music studio.

“I have been reading up a lot on construction projects and design plans in the library world during the age of COVID and moving forward,” said McEntee.

“One article I read talked about plans for a flexible space and being able to adapt within that space. The thing is we were already planning on that. We had a lot of flexibility in the current plan that we have. So, we may not have to do a whole lot of changing, but, we will talk more about it with our architect.”

McEntee says after a potentially new design is approved, she is hoping to have the project out to bid near the beginning of next year.

Then we can break ground in the first quarter of the year. That’s my hope,” McEntee said.

“I want to thank everyone for being patient during this crazy time. I know everybody is really anxious to get going on this construction project — my board, all of my staff, the police jury and the public. We are moving forward with it and were excited about getting back into the design plan and moving forward with it,” she added.

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