East bank’s getting new library – west bank wishes it could say the same …

St. Charles Parish Council has approved the construction of an $8.2 million library in Destrehan.

And with any luck at all, the doors will swing open 18 or so months from now – in the summer of 2008.

The east bank’s good fortune is welcome news, but some west bank residents are disappointed that they aren’t getting a new library, too.

They say the Des Allemands, Paradis and Bayou Gauche areas are in desperate need.

“Our children need a place to read and learn,” one concerned resident told me.

“About all they’ve got to do know is go fishing and shrimping in their spare time.

“We really do need a libary. As it stands, we’ve got nothing. And the children are suffering because of it.”

Mary desBordes, library director for St. Charles Parish, says the new Destrehan library will be state of the art.

“The money appropriated includes the financing for an access road to the building,” she says, adding that the facility will have features that the east-bank library residents are using now doesn’t have.

“While we were in the planning phase we visited other libraries and we took the best of everything we saw and created one design,” she says.

The new library will have five study rooms, a separate childrens’ area and activity room, a computer lab for public use and a separate area for young adults.

The land for new facility was donated by British Petroleum.

“ When we started planning, we were in the process of looking for space to rent while the construction of the library would be taking place,” says desBordes.

“We went to the business park. We found out that BP owns the business park that we were looking to rent a space from and they told us instead of renting they would donate us the land to build the facility.”

“This gift will enable us to build a larger facility for our patrons in a park-like setting, with little or no interruption of library service to the community.”

The construction is expected to take between 15-24 months after bids go out and one is approved early on in 2007.

That means a new library may be up and running with its doors open as early as the summer of 2008.

“We are still in the development stage and we look forward to contine working with our architects to design and build a library the parish will be proud of,” desBordes says.

Have you heard that parish council member April Black has been named chairman of the council? Council member Snookie Faucheux has been named vice chairman.


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