Ascension Parish Library holds groundbreaking at Donaldsonville branch

Staff Report
A groundbreaking ceremony was held March 2 at the Ascension Parish Library's Donaldsonville branch located at 500 Mississippi St.

The Ascension Parish Library's Donaldsonville branch, at 500 Mississippi St., hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking to mark the beginning of its extensive renovation.

The branch has temporarily relocated operations to a space across the street from the permanent location. It has been there since the end of 2021.

The library will remain in its temporary location at 420 Mississippi St. until renovations are completed. A grand reopening is anticipated in the first quarter of 2024.

The system budgeted $3.5 million for the project, but rising construction costs and supply chain issues resulted in significantly higher bids and delayed the start of the project.

The library entered a process known as Construction Manager at-Risk, where the project architect, Multistudio, and the selected contractor, Lincoln Builders, found ways to save on design without compromising the library’s promises to add to the Donaldsonville historic district.

With the addition of 2,700 square feet, the library increased to 15,350 total square feet.

The renovated library will feature technology and tools to promote creativity and STEAM-based learning. A new audiovisual recording studio and virtual reality room will allow users to record podcasts, songs, and create videos using a green screen. A makerspace will offer digital design software, 3-D printers, and a laser cutter. Providing access to arts and science is one of the library’s most significant values.

The library will also have an expanded children's area, a new dedicated teen space, and a new collection centered on the African American experience; The Jeannette Jefferson Collection, a collection to reflect the history, culture, and interests of African Americans. Renovations will also include a professionally curated historical display to tell the story of the City of Donaldsonville.