CAMERON PARISH, LA (KPLC) - The Johnson Bayou Branch Library re-opened a brand new facility for the first time since Hurricane Rita.
The community invited state and local officials to a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday afternoon to celebrate the first re-opening of a library in Cameron Parish since 4 library branches were destroyed in 2005.
"The original library was on this site where we rebuilt and it was completely demolished by Hurricane Rita," said Cindi Sellers, President of the Library Board of Control.
Sellers added that it was a long process bringing a permanent library facility back to Cameron Parish.
"Libraries were not high priority to rebuild after the hurricane," said Sellers. "The problem was that we were so close to the coast and we had to get numerous reviews before we could build."
After more than five years, the board was successful at constructing a new library facility that is up to code.
"This facility is higher and it's built to all of the applicable codes for wind resistance and wave resistance," said Sellers.
Sellers said there is a significant meaning behind the design of the new library.
"This building resembles a lighthouse," said Sellers. "It can stand as a symbol to the people as well as a beacon of knowledge and hope. This will help them continue the education that you just can't get anywhere else and it's free to the public."
Margaret Young, a resident of Johnson Bayou, is excited about the new library opening in her community.
"My library is so important to me because its just like having Christmas once a week all year long," said Young. "It will be convenient to get your books here and drop them off here."
In addition to the Johnson Bayou Branch, the Library Control Board is making plans to build libraries in Cameron and Grand Chenier as well.