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River Center Library

Library Board votes to keep Downtown Library at existing site

After reviewing 20 potential sites for the Downtown library, the East Baton Rouge Parish Library Board voted unanimously last Thursday to keep the River Center Branch Library at its current location at St. Louis and North Boulevard. "The existing site continues to be the most viable," newly appointed board member Derek Gordon said. The Board collectively felt that the existing location would save tax payers money by avoiding land purchase cost.

The library board will determine whether the existing building will be renovated, expanded, or rebuilt at next month's meeting. A feasibility study done by Trahan Architects presents three options for the building including three varying plans with different levels of alterations.

Download River Center Library Feasibility Study

The expansion recommends the removal of the existing partitions to improve circulation within the existing library structure and some reconfiguration of library program.
Expansion + Renovation
This option improves circulation but would also add 26,950 square feet of usable space. This scheme also calls for the reconfiguration of library program.
New Facility
The new facility could become a destination for Downtown that engages the surrounding urban fabric and challenges the ideas of how a modern library should look and be used.

Modern ideas of libraries are changing as people realize that libraries are emblematic of a community and should be located in a city's historical and cultural center. A modern library should attract as many groups as possible. Today's libraries integrate cafe's, courtyards, meeting rooms, and specialized areas for teens and children. They become beacons for the community.

A modern library should be situated in an area with high pedestrian traffic and should be easily accessable by public transportation.

The location of the current library is also desirable because of its proximity to other civic institutions, governmental buildings, and cultural attractions. There can be a symbolic relationship between the library, The Shaw Center, the Old State Capitol, and North Boulevard Town Square.

River Center Library

The River Center Library will develop an especially strong relationship with the adjacent North Boulevard Town Square. Town Square will provide additional space for reading and other educational programs offered by the library.

North Boulevard Town Square will be the premier outdoor space for Downtown featuring seating areas under historic oaks, a town lawn, performance stages, and a media tower displaying news and transit information on high definition screens.

We are excited with the opportunities that the updated library will bring to Downtown and its positive impact on Downtown businesses and attractions. The library is an important piece of our civic center and cultural attractions that will greatly benefit tourism, commerce, and the quality of life in our community.

For a full listing of upcoming events, visit our website.

227 Florida St.  |  Baton Rouge, LA 70801  |  (225) 389-5520 Office (225) 389-5523 Fax  |  8:00 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F

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