New Orleans Opens Libraries Worth $34M

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor Five state-of-the-art public libraries worth a combined $34 million are scheduled to open in The Crescent City. This will raise the number of restored Katrina-marred libraries to a total of 10. The facilities are a mix of restored buildings and brand-new facilities featuring green elements, Wi-fi hotspots, cafés, computer labs [...]

Five state-of-the-art public libraries worth a combined $34 million are scheduled to open in The Crescent City. This will raise the number of restored Katrina-marred libraries to a total of 10. The facilities are a mix of restored buildings and brand-new facilities featuring green elements, Wi-fi hotspots, cafés, computer labs and much more, reported The Times-Picayune. FEMA damage reimbursements and Community Block Grants have provided most of the funds for the five rebuilt facilities.

The $6.8 million Rosa F. Keller Library in Broadmoor opened first, on March 16. Designed by New Orleans-based Eskew+Dumez+Ripple and built by Gootee Construction of Metairie, the 11,000-square-foot library features a restored 1917 bungalow and a new structure, as well. The facility will also double as a community center. Amenities include a 28-computer technology center, a conference room, a meeting room and a kitchen for cooking demonstrations.

The $5.7 million Norman Mayer Library at 3001 Gentilly Road opens on March 20. The 18,000-square-foot, two-story new structure designed by Lee Ledbetter & Associates and built by Gibbs Construction includes a meeting room and commercial space.

In Lakeview, the 12,700-square-foot Robert E. Smith Library opens on March 22. Designed by Lee Ledbetter and built by Gibbs Construction, the new facility boasts a central courtyard, reading areas (including one for children), computers (including children’s computers) and a teen area. Separate entrances will permit after-hours access to the library’s meeting room and the to-be-leased commercial space.

The $7.6 million East New Orleans Library at 5641 Read Blvd. will open in mid-April. The 27,000-square-foot library designed by Gould Evans Affiliates and built by Gibbs Construction features amenities such as a courtyard, a 300-capacity meeting room and to-be-leased commercial space.

The $9.3 million Algiers Regional Library is expected to open in the summer. The Gould Evans Affiliates design was incorporated by Gibbs Construction. The 28,000-square-foot library’s amenities will include meeting rooms, courtyards and a kitchenette with a seating capacity of 300. The unleased commercial space will feature outdoor seating and a separate entrance to permit after-hours access.

Photo Courtesy of New Orleans Public Library Lakeview Branch’s Facebook page