GALVEZ — Galvez residents going to the library on Monday will walk into a part of the building they've never seen before.
Sealed off for construction for the last 10 months, a new 6,000-square-foot addition on the east side of the building facing La. 42 will open.
The new space will serve as the library for the Galvez community through the end of the year while the old library space gets a new roof and a renovation.
The work is all part of a $3.34 million expansion and renovation project that will more than double the size of the library from approximately 10,000 square feet to some 23,000 square feet.
Along with the new addition, another, 4,000-square foot addition, temporarily being used for storage, has gone up on the west side of the building.
The new addition, which will offer new space for library activities for the public and another room for groups to meet, will open at the end of the year, along with the renovated original building, said Angelle Deshautelles, library director for the Ascension Parish library system.
The number of parking spaces at the library is more than doubling, too, going from 45 to 104.
"When this was built and opened in 1992, it was designed to serve 15,000 people," Deshautelles said of the Galvez location.
The population in the area has more than doubled since then and was estimated in 2010 at more than 36,000, she said.
Other libraries in Ascension Parish are in Donaldsonville, Gonzales and Dutchtown.
Deshautelles said she believes that by the end of 2017 the library system will have saved enough money to begin planning for a library in St. Amant, where it already has property on La. 43.
"We anticipate it will be 23,000 square feet, too," she said.
Like all of the Ascension Parish Library construction projects, the Galvez library project was funded by property taxes.
The Ascension Parish Library system receives 95 percent of its funding from two property taxes, one a 2.6 millage and the other a 4.2 millage.
Other funding comes from the state and fees and fines.
The library puts money aside for construction, which "stretches things out time-wise" but "doesn't cost the taxpayer any more money," Deshautelles has said.
The Galvez library has been closed for the last two weeks while a professional moving company and library staffers moved shelves, books and more from the old part of the building, which will be sealed off during its renovation, to the new addition.
Deshautelles said that during the first three days the building was closed, more than 100 people came to the front door where workers were going in and out, to ask, "'Y'all closed?'" Deshautelles said.
The Galvez library is used by about 2,500 to 3,000 people weekly, she said.
Library employees on Friday were checking to make sure that books were in the right order on the shelves in the new addition.
The new area has a large activity room for children, complete with a sink, ideal for craft projects, staff said.
"It's really exciting," said branch librarian Stephanie Mayeux of all the new space.
"There was not enough space to showcase all our resources" in the old building, she said.
At the end of the year, the Galvez library will have to close again for two weeks to move back into the renovated original portion of the building and the second new addition.
When all the dust settles at the end of the year, the new Galvez library will have 20 computers, an increase of 12; three study rooms, an increase of 2; a magazine-reading room; and a library section for young adults for the first time.
The architect for the project is Henry Chauvin of Gonzales, and the contractor is Stuart and Co. of Baton Rouge.
"I grew up here, I'm one of those little kids who lived in the library," said Deshautelles, a native of Ascension Parish.
"This is the library (system) I used as a child, and I know what it can help you accomplish," she said.