Plans are underway to double the size of the Norco Library, an estimated $1 million project.
“We definitely saw a need in Norco for a larger building, and we are thankful that this project will allow us to meet that need,” said Library Director Leann Benedict.
Plans are to renovate and expand the former First National Bank USA building at 590 Apple St., purchased in 2015 by the St. Charles Parish Library System.
Bids being taken on the project until Nov. 9 at the St. Charles Parish Courthouse.
The new branch will be 4,530 square feet, which Benedict said will more than double the size of the current site at 197 Good Hope St.
“The new building will provide more space for everything that happens at our current Norco branch,” Benedict said. “We will have a bigger children’s area, teen area and more seating.”
The location also will have more computers, two study rooms (local site has none) and a larger meeting room that can be used for library events and community meetings.
Benedict projected construction will take about eight months. The current location will remain open until the new location is complete.
“The building that the Norco Branch is currently in is our smallest branch and the only building that we don’t own,” she said. “Providing the communities served by this branch with a bigger and better facility has been on our radar for a number of years now and we are finally able to make it happen. A lot of people visit the Norco Branch to check out items and to attend programs.”
Benedict said it isn’t unusual for the meeting room to be filled to capacity, and sometimes overflowing into the library, when they are hosting an event, especially during popular summer reading programs.
With completion of the Norch branch, the library will have finished four major building projects in 10 years (the East Regional Library opened in 2010, the Paradis Branch opened in 2011, and the West Regional Library and Planetarium reopened earlier this year after a large renovation), she said.
“After the Norco project is finished, we will take the time to look at all of our branches and make sure they are functioning as they should, maintaining and upgrading them as needed,” Benedict said.
She added the library staff is always for ways that we can best serve residents. This includes providing children, teens, and adults with quality resources and events as well as making sure our facilities are meeting the needs of the community where they are located.