NEW ORLEANS, LA—Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and City officials opened the new $9.2 million Algiers Regional Library located at 3014 Holiday Drive. The new building replaces the former library that was razed in 2010. This library is the fifth new library the City of New Orleans has opened in the last four months. Officials also highlighted the recently completed improvements to Holiday Drive.
“This new library is a major addition for the Algiers community,” Mayor Landrieu said. “In the last four months, the City of New Orleans has opened five new libraries and the new Algiers Regional Library is by far the largest. This new library will serve as a vital asset for the Algiers community and as an excellent space to foster enrichment in the young and old alike.”
District C Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer said, “This is a great day for the people of Algiers and in particular for our young people. The opening of the new Algiers Regional Library will provide the residents of Algiers with greater access to technology and information and to further build opportunities for their families. In addition, the added sidewalks and bike path will allow for even more residents to safely access this key community resource for many years to come.”
City Council President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, “Algiers is so excited to have our regional library open again! It was a long time coming, but we are so grateful that we were on the list of five libraries to be rebuilt in the city following Hurricane Katrina.”
Councilmember at Large Stacy Head said, “Public libraries significantly impact the quality of life in a community, providing computer access and meeting spaces, in addition to housing vast amounts of information. Since Hurricane Katrina, too many Orleans Parish libraries have operated out of trailers that are unable to fully serve the needs of residents. This state-of-the-art library is a welcome addition to Algiers and the surrounding communities and is poised to become a cornerstone of everyday life for adults and children alike.”
The new Algiers Regional Library is a two-story, 28,000 square foot facility with an open courtyard that will provide all the services of the main branch including children's reading room, Wi-Fi hotspot, teen space, meeting rooms, and an enterprise area with separate entrances/exits from the rest of the building is being provided for a future tenant to build out. The library is designed to allow after-hours access to the main meeting room which can accommodate large crowds without disturbing the remainder of the facility. A kitchenette has been included in the meeting room. This new library will feature 60 computers, new materials, seasonal displays and special features on the main level.
Deputy Mayor of Facilities, Infrastructure and Community Development Cedric Grant said, “The new Algiers Regional Library is a truly energy efficient building. Utilizing federal dollars through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, this building features thermal insulation, new and improved HVAC systems, energy efficient windows and roofing. It is a wise investment in our city’s future.”
City Librarian Charles Brown said, “The Algiers community grew quite a bit as a result of Hurricane Katrina. We’re just trying to keep up. The West Bank will have the largest library in the system.”
New Orleans Public Library Board Chair Lee Reid said, “We are proud to bring a Regional Branch to Algiers. We anticipate great community use of the building and participation in our programs for generations to come.”
FEMA Louisiana Recovery Office Executive Director Joe Threat said, “Today’s opening of the post-Katrina Algiers Regional Library—the fifth New Orleans public library to open over the last four months—speaks to the monumental recovery achievements currently underway within the city of New Orleans. Through the support of taxpayer dollars, Algiers now has a remarkable, new community library that will serve residents of all ages for decades to come. Today’s celebration is also significant in that it brings New Orleans one step closer to fully recovering from Hurricane Katrina.”
Louisiana State Office of Community Development Executive Director Pat Forbes said, “The investment of $4.7 million of Community Development Block Grants in the Algiers Library branch allowed the City of New Orleans to build a stronger, larger, more sustainable facility in place of the one destroyed as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Combining these CDBG funds with FEMA public assistance helps keep this library available as an important resource to the citizens in the Algiers and surrounding neighborhoods.”
Funding for this library came from Disaster Community Development Block Grants (D-CDBG), FEMA public assistance, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants, and City bond funds. It was designed by Gould Evans Affiliates of Kansas City, MO and built by Gibbs Construction of New Orleans. It is a design-build project.
Officials also took the opportunity to highlight $5.2 million in roadwork recently completed by the City along Holiday Drive from General Meyer Avenue to Behrman Place. Improvements include rehabilitation of existing roadway, curb drainage replacement, repair of catch basins, replacement of broken sidewalks, and installation of ADA-compliant curb ramps. Designated bicycle lanes have been constructed from General Meyer Avenue to MacArthur Boulevard in both directions along Holiday Drive. These bicycle lanes will improve connection for cyclists by connecting to major commercial areas near Holiday Drive and General DeGaulle Drive and the future Algiers levee top bike path currently under development by the Algiers Development District.