Heights Libraries will begin repairs this month on the lower level of its University Heights branch, which has been closed since late August 2022. The lower level is home to its Teen and Children’s areas.
In August 2022, the area experienced flooding that destroyed flooring, walls, and built-in furniture, and rendered the space unusable. None of the collection was damaged due to the quick action of Library staff, who moved it to safety on the first floor.
Staff converted the building’s first-floor meeting rooms into a temporary children’s section, and the northeast corner of the main floor into a temporary home for the teen collection. Adult services continued, with public computers and seating still available. However, the small study rooms have been unavailable due to their use as storage for items rescued from the lower level and as staff work spaces.
In late February, Neptune Plumbing installed new clean-out drains in the space to prevent future flooding, and in March, the Library hired construction company Millstone Management Group to perform the renovation work. The Library’s insurance company has already paid for the clean-up of the lower level, which took place directly after the flooding in August and September of 2022, and will also cover the necessary repairs and replacements.
“We are eager to get the restoration work on the lower level underway,” said University Heights Branch Manager Sara Phillips. “Our staff and customers have been such troopers, and have adapted to the new layout with such positive attitudes, but we really need to restore our full services to our community, especially our kids and teens.”
The Library hopes renovations will be complete in June 2023.