ELKINS, W.Va. – The Elkins-Randolph County Public Library could be closed to the public for up to eight months after sustaining water damage.
The library has remained closed since workers returned from Christmas break on Dec. 27 and found that a significant amount of water had leaked into the building.
“We haven’t received any real timeline on how long the repairs may take, but the initial assessment was six to eight months,” said Jared Howell, Elkins-Randolph County Public Library Director. “Once we get more information from the contractors, however, we will be able to determine an actual time frame of how long it’s going to take.”
Water accessed the inside of the building through cracks in the roof. Perfection Plus is contracted for the clean-up and restoration of the library.
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“There was a phenomenal amount of water that came through our roof, and it’s taken this long just to get everything out of there,” said Howell. “Perfection Plus came in and did all the water remediation and the removal of all the materials. They are also in charge of storing the materials and evaluating the damages. It ultimately damaged everything inside with the exception of the books.”
Library officials haven’t had the chance to go through all the books, but they are hoping that most of them can be salvaged.
Currently, they are looking for a building in downtown Elkins to host their services until the repairs are finished.
“We are trying to get a temporary location downtown, hopefully as close to the library as possible,” Howell said. “We want to be able to allow people to come in somewhere and access the computers, print services and other things like that.”
Citizens will have access to the Elkins-Randolph County Public Library Beverly branch once they open on March 1. The Beverly branch has a collection of over 4,000 books.
“Even if it takes a little while to get the facility back up and running, our plan is to put our footprint back in there,” Howell said. “It’s amazing the amount of people who walk to our establishment to utilize our services. We are missing out by not being there.”