New regional library under construction in Lafayette

The new East Regional Library is taking shape on La Neuville Road, a facility that will serve the booming Youngsville and Broussard areas.

Construction began Sept. 27, and the 15,207-square-foot facility is expected to open to patrons within about 15 months, Lafayette Public Library System Director Sona Dombourian said.

“The need is here today,” she said.

The new library, which is being built on property next to Fabacher Field, will have a separate children’s area with a story-telling room, an area for teenagers, wireless Internet, public access computers, study rooms and meeting rooms.

“The residential communities in this area are just exploding. I have a feeling the moment the doors are open, it is going to be occupied,” said Lafayette City-Parish Councilman William Theriot, whose district includes several of the large subdivisions the library will serve.

Dombourian said the new eastern branch has been designed for easy additions to accommodate future demand.

“We have the option of expanding 20,000 square feet,” she said.

The $4.3 million project is funded by 10-year, 2-mill library tax that voters first approved in 2002 and renewed in 2012 to build and operate regional libraries throughout the parish and to renovate the main library in downtown Lafayette.

The East Regional Library will be the third regional branch built under the expansion plan.

The North Regional Library opened in Carencro in 2007, and the South Regional Library opened on Johnston Street in 2009.

The library system is now seeking property for a fourth regional branch in the Scott area.

Dombourian said no timeline has been set for that project because the design process will not begin until after property has been secured.

Major renovations are also underway at the main library branch in downtown Lafayette, which has been temporarily relocated to the old Jefferson Street Market.

Dombourain said the main branch is expected to reopen within a year.