MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) – The Ouachita Parish Police Jury passes a motion to purchase a new building to relocate the Ouachita Parish Public Library. 

The unanimous vote to purchase the new library building is located at 1000 Oliver Road in Monroe, La. 

President of the police jury, Shane Smiley, says the renovations of the new building will be completed at a much faster pace without having to shut down the library.

“The vote tonight is not a vote just for today, or tomorrow; it’s for many, many years to come. We know that it has more space. We know that part of it has not yet been built out. And, that’s going to allow us to do some things that, I think, the public will be very excited about, especially the youngsters, you know, to visit the library.”

The $2.8 million proposed budget aims to provide more meeting spaces and a bigger parking space for better accessibility.

“We want to be good stewards of good taxpayer dollars, and we are going to spend that money in the best way that we can. It’s going to provide a much easier route for schools to actually bring students there for events and for services that the library provides.”

Smiley says once the closing of the purchasing is completed, they will look into the plans and set the project out for bids.

Meanwhile, as renovations begin for the main branch, Smiley says city officials will look into renovations for the other existing branches. 

“We want to see what could be done with Carver Mcdonald. We want to begin plans to construct the library there, in that neighborhood, in the vicinity of the existing branch relatively soon.”

Smiley said renovations could begin within the next six months. The project is estimated to be completed within a year and a half.