MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD)–The Ouachita Parish Police Jury voted unanimously in favor of purchasing a new building to relocate the Ouachita Parish Public Library as supposed to be renovating the existing branch.

The big investment comes after jurors rejected the previous estimated renovation cost set between $6 and $8 million for the main branch.

The proposed budget to purchase the new building is $2.8 million. President of the police jury, Shane Smiley, says the renovation of the new building will be completed at a much faster pace without having to shut down the library.

The new building is on Oliver Road, and will be more accessible to residents, including a much bigger parking space.

“The entrance to the library is in a less congested corridor,” says Smiley. “The library will be all in one level. There are plans for us to do something with that that I think will be unique to our kids population and allow them to have something different to what they are used to. This is something that we are excited about. I think the people of the parish will be excited about it,” he explained. “Ultimately, we are trying to meet their needs. We have the fundings in place to renovate the building and make it what I think the people of the parish can be very proud of.

Smiley says the long term investment will begin once the building is officially purchased.