LAFAYETTE - Construction on Lafayette Parish’s newest library could begin early next year, libraries Director Sona Dombourian said.
The East Regional Library will be located on La Neuville Road adjacent to Fabacher Field, a Lafayette Parks and Recreation ballpark.
If the $3.75 million, 15,000-square-foot project goes out to bid in November, construction could start by early 2012, Dombourian said.
If weather or other problems do not stall the project, move-in could be as early as 2013, she said.
Designers are finalizing construction documents, which should be complete by late September, said Charles Beazley, of Architects Beazley Moliere.
The new library features a contemporary and open design with plenty of views of the nearby park, Beazley said.
“We’ve been referring to it as the ?pavilion in the park,’ “ Beazley said.
The “open feel” of the design fits with the site’s location, adjacent to a ballpark and a playground, Dombouriann said.
There’s also room to grow.
The building has been designed to easily expand by about 25,000 square feet if demand grows or funding allows, she said.
In the design process, slight changes were made to keep the project on budget.
“The biggest one was a meeting room that we had hoped to be able to divide into three smaller rooms as needed,” Dombourian said.
The order was reduced from two ceiling-to-floor, soundproof room partitions to only one, enabling the 1,500-square-foot space to be divided into two separate rooms.
“That saved $75,000 right off the top,” she said.
The changes made did not impact planned library services, Dombourian said.
The library will also feature four study rooms and a larger study room where group meetings could be held; collection areas specific to children, teens and adults; a computer area; and a drive-thru return.
The project is one of four new library branches that were part of a $40 million bond measure approved by voters in 2002.
So far, two of the four branches are complete.
In 2009, a 37,600-square-foot South Regional Branch opened on Johnston Street and in 2007, the 12,500-square-foot North Regional opened in Carencro.
A fourth new library - a West Regional branch - is planned for the Scott/Duson area, but no location has been selected, Dombourian said.
The 2002 bond measure also included major renovations of the main library branch downtown.
In preparation for the work, the main branch relocated to 538 Jefferson St. in April.
Before renovations begin, asbestos must be removed from the building, which is more than 40 years old.
Dombourian said staff members are boxing up the branch’s collection for relocation to a warehouse during the renovations. The stored books will remain in circulation and be taken to branches as the public requests them, she explained.
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