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Officials hoping to open downtown library before May

4 years 1 month 3 weeks ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 February 20, 2020 9:23 PM February 20, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A dreary stretch of weather isn't washing away the brand new look of the River Center Branch Library. It's also not stopping progress from being made.

Inside the modern structure, books are starting to appear on shelves and more furniture is being built and installed, signaling the coming arrival of a grand opening.

"The last one percent seems to drag on forever," Asst. Library Director, Mary Stein said. 

Library Director, Spencer Watts, gave Board of Control members an update on the project Thursday.

"We still are going to have a little bit of time we're going to need before we're ready to be open for the public," Watts said. "I wish that was going to be sooner."

A lot of remaining work will be dedicated to finishing the laundry list of various tasks on the building's punch list.

"It's very substantial with several hundred items," Watts said.

The delay of furniture deliveries is also holding up the anticipated opening. That process was stalled when the state government fell victim to a cyberattack. 

That furniture will now arrive in waves in early April. While Watts and others were hoping for a March opening, they hope to be up and running before May with the necessities in place.

"We can get by without a few lounge chairs or maybe the rocking chair doesn't get there or something like that," Stein said. "The minute we have sufficient furniture to operate the building comfortably."

Board members are also anticipating the opening. Some say they are being asked about on particular question related to the new building.

"They want to be sure that the library is safe," Kathy Wascom said. "That it's not going to somehow fall down."

Watts says that shouldn't be a concern.

"I think it's one of the safest structures in the Greater Baton Rouge area because, it has been, so much attention has been paid to it."

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