A planned expansion of the Denham Springs-Walker branch of the Livingston Parish Library is scheduled to go out for bid in the spring.
The project, estimated to cost $3.4 million, will be funded out of the library system’s reserve funds, Director Giovanni Tairov said.
“The reason why we want to do this is simple,” Tairov said. “Out of 405,000 people that come through our doors annually, about half go to Denham Springs-Walker branch. Out of 80,000 people that use our computers throughout the library system, about 40,000 go to Denham Springs-Walker branch. Of all the things that we do, about half falls on that branch’s shoulders.”
The existing 18,400-square-foot building, on the corner of U.S. 190 and Eden Church Road, opened in December 2006 and offers a public meeting room, computer access, free Wi-Fi and numerous programs and services for people of all ages.
The 10,000-square-foot expansion would allow the branch to offer two meeting rooms — one for library programming and the other for public use — and a computer lab housing at least 50 computers, Tairov said.
The branch’s existing meeting room would be converted into a staff workroom.
The plans, which are still being finalized, would include a large makerspace where the library may offer computers for video editing, a 3D printer and other things that will allow people to do their own computer-related or handcraft projects, he said.
More than 100 parking spaces also would be added.
“This has been one of our critical issues, especially with summer reading programs,” Tairov said. “This past summer, we had to turn people away because, with the roundabout construction (at U.S. 190 and Eden Church Road), we were no longer able to offer parking in the church lot across the street.”
The library system has been working on the design plans with Steve Jackson, of the Cockfield Jackson architecture and design firm in Baton Rouge, Tairov said.
Cockfield Jackson, in collaboration with Labarre Associates of Denham Springs, designed and built all of the parish’s library branches, including the new Main Branch in the town of Livingston.
Tairov estimates construction of the new addition could take up to a year, though he hopes it would be complete in about 9 months.
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