LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — A heated debate and protest about building the Northeast Lafayette Library is stirring up action. Residents say they are tired of waiting for construction to begin.
On Monday, residents urged the Lafayette Parish Public Library Board of Directors to move the project forward at a board meeting Monday evening, and things quickly got heated.
One man was even arrested for disturbing the peace during the meeting.
Even before the meeting began, however, tensions were high, as people protested outside.
“We’re out here today because we want to send a message to the library board and to Mayor Josh Guillory, that we deserve a library here on our end of town,” Khadijah Rashad told News Ten.
She says she’s been waiting for the new library to be built for years now.
“There was $8.5 million dollars that was allocated for the library, and a library needs to be on the north side of town. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. If Mayor Josh Guillory listened to all of his constituents, he would see that this is where the money needs to go,” she added.
Many other residents hammered the library board of directors Monday evening, working to get answers on when construction will begin.
“We’re out here not just fighting for you, but we’re fighting or our children, grandkids, great grandkids. We are fighting for everybody. We need and deserve our library,” Rashad added.
The board initially recommended leasing a building for a temporary library while they await construction, but residents said no.
After back and forth debate, the board agreed to buy land to build the library on or allow the land to be donated.
“I believe that we are definitely moving in the right direction. It also makes me wonder what’s coming next,” Marja Broussard with the NAACP said.
Another hot topic at Monday night’s board meeting… Should children 14 and younger have a library card that restricts sexually graphic books?
After many parents spoke up and said no, the board tabled that agenda item to be discussed at the next meeting.