Panel awaits traffic count projections
LAFAYETTE — A decision on where in the western part of the parish a new library branch should be built may not be made for at least another six months.
The Lafayette Public Library Board of Control discussed possible locations for the new library, which will serve the Scott and Duson areas, at a meeting Monday but didn’t make a decision about where to begin the search for property. The delay was to give city-parish planners more time to analyze traffic and population counts, Library Director Sona Dombourian said.
“Basically, we don’t have a crystal ball,” Dombourian said. “However, Lafayette Consolidated Government’s Planning Department is awaiting some projections for traffic counts and other counts for 2030 and also 2040 and that will help steer us a little better.”
“We’re not building a library just for today’s population; we’re building it for the next 10, 20, 30 years,” she added.
Those 2030 and 2040 projections are expected in the next six to eight months, she said.
Meanwhile, board members are eyeing two areas: One is somewhere within a two- to two-and-a-half mile radius of Fieldspan Road and Cameron Street or in the heart of Scott, Dombourian said.
Scott Mayor Purvis Morrison said Tuesday he’d like to see the branch built in his city.
“We’d love to have it in the city of Scott, as far west as possible,” he said. “We believe the best target area is near the new Apollo Road extension.”
Residents in the western part of the parish are now served by two smaller branches. One is located on Cameron Street in Scott and the other is on Avenue au Nord in Duson.
Dombourian said it’s too soon to know whether the new west regional branch would mean the closure of one or both of the smaller libraries. Closure will depend on where the new branch is located, she said.
For instance, the north regional branch in Carencro was built less than a mile from an existing branch, so the smaller, existing branch was closed.
The north regional branch and south regional branch located past the Mall of Acadiana are the first two of four new regional libraries to be constructed as part of a $40 million bond issue approved by voters in 2002.
Construction on an east regional branch in Youngsville should begin later this year.
Dombourian said no decision has been made on whether the existing Youngsville branch on Lafayette Street will be closed after the new library opens.
The 2002 bond issue also included renovations to the downtown Lafayette main branch. Asbestos is being removed from the building. Once that project is complete, the renovations may begin, Dombourian has said.