UNION — A flood caused by a sprinkler that froze and ruptured is the reason why the Union County Carnegie Library was forced to closed its doors just days after it reopened at its temporary location.
The Union County Carnegie Library closed its doors the weekend following a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 30 that kicked off a $1.8 million restoration program that will involve the renovation, upgrade and expansion of the library building at 300 East South Street. The library was closed to allow staff to relocate its materials and equipment to its temporary location in the old Graham Cash building at 127 East Main Street.
The library was scheduled to reopen at its temporary location on Tuesday, January 2, but on Thursday, January 4, Assistant Director Taylor Atkinson issued a statement announcing that “due to unforeseen circumstances, the library is closed for the immediate future. We will do our best to return to operating as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding and patience.”
The announcement did not, however, include an explanation as to why the library had to close so soon after reopening. That explanation was provided Tuesday in the following statement also issued by Atkinson.
“Library staff were thrilled to receive our Certificate of Occupancy and open our doors to the public on January 3, 2018, and were deeply saddened to close our doors the following day,” Atkinson said. “On Thursday, January 4, a sprinkler froze, ruptured, and caused a flood in the Graham Cash building at 127 East Main Street, the library’s temporary location. The initial flood occurred on a floor the library was not leasing, and flooded the entirety of the building.”
“The library is working diligently with the building’s owner to resolve this issue and ensure that the library’s collections are protected,” she said. “We are doing everything we can to allow Union County residents to access resources and materials as quickly as possible. We appreciate the community’s patience and support as we navigate this unfortunate and unforeseen situation.”
Atkinson said that “all materials that are currently checked out will not be charged overdue fines, and may be returned to other SC Lends libraries, the library’s drop-box location at 300 East South Street, or after the library is once again able to provide services. Neighboring SC Lends libraries include: Fairfield, Chester, York, Cherokee, and Laurens.
While it has forced the library to close at its temporary location, Atkinson said that “this incident will not impact the library renovation and restoration project, which is continuing as planned. However, this will lead to unexpected costs, and anyone interested in helping may contact the Friends of the Library Board.”
Atkinson said “the library would like to say a special thank you to Public Safety, the City Fire Department, and Public Works for their quick response and hard work during this emergency situation, in addition to our community supporters and other county departments, including Mayor Thompson, County Supervisor Frank Hart, and staff at the Stadium/Airport, Detention Center, and Building Maintenance.
While the library is closed, Atkinson said that “patrons with a library card may use their card at other SC Lends libraries, and may continue to access electronic resources during this time. The best way to contact the library is through email at [email protected], and we will continue to share information as we are able via our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/unionsclibrary, and our website, http://unionlibrary.org.“