New library for Garyville moving closer to reality

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 20, 2004

By SUE ELLEN ROSS – Staff Reporter

Garyville – It may take about a year to build, but the newest library in the St. John Parish Library System is a step closer to reality.

St. John Parish Council has already approved the new structure, which will be built near the current library on Main Street.

At the council’s Feb. 10 meeting, representatives of Sizeler Architects of New Orleans presented design plans.

But there are still more items to take care of as the process unrolls. One of those was addressed at the Feb. 16 meeting of the St. John Parish Planning and Zoning Commission.

A request to rezone a parcel of property located within the area needed for development of the library was brought to this meeting. The application for rezoning a portion of land between the Public School lot and the south row of the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad, fronting on Historic Front, Historic Main, and Albert streets, Glencoe Plantation, Garyville from R-1 to C-1 (for the construction of a library) was approved by the commission.

The next step in the process calls for the hiring of a contractor. Construction should then take about 11-12 months, according to Library Director Randy DeSoto.

The price tag for the new library is approximately $835,000. Of this amount, $800,000 will be paid from bond money from the parish. The remainder will be taken from the library budget.

For the past 16 years, the Frazee-Harris Branch in Garyville has been operating in leased space on Main Street next to the post office. The floor plan for the new library covers 5,500 sq. ft of space, compared to the 1,600 sq. ft. now in use.

The location and design of the new structure was foremost while the project was in the planning stages.

“We felt the library should stay close to where it had been,” said Randy DeSoto, Library Director. “We also wanted the design to fit in with existing structures.”

To that end, the roofing material and siding will reflect the design of surrounding buildings.

An interesting note is that the project’s architect, William Robein, lives in Garyville.

The expanded space will house more books, a computer lab, study rooms and storage areas. Eight public access computers also will be offered.