St. Cloud, MN, September 2016: The projected reopening for the St. Cloud Library is the end of October. The library will be closed through most of October in order to make repairs and complete cleaning of light smoke and soot. This process is intended to provide a safe and secure environment for library patrons.
The library has been closed since an arsonist set a fire in the library’s upper level on Aug. 17. The fire destroyed a chair, cracked a window and did structural damage.
The restoration and cleaning of the building was put out for bid as required by state law. The Scope of Work document used in the bid process detailed a comprehensive restoration task. The library is a 115,000 sq. ft. building and contains more than 250,000 items spread out over seven linear miles of shelving. The ceiling tiles are being cleaned or replaced. The heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC), the walls, computers and library materials are being cleaned.
Multiple quotes from recognized expert restoration companies were received. The selected bid for the clean-up is from ICC Restoration and Cleaning Services of Woodbury. The bid to clean the building and contents is $571,259.31. The bid anticipates four to five weeks of work. Work is expected to begin Monday, Sept. 26, 2016.
The St. Cloud library is the headquarters for the entire 32-branch Great River Regional Library system. Materials for all the other 31 locations circulate through the St. Cloud Public Library. A three vehicle delivery system visits each library five days a week. The building area responsible for the library operations was relatively protected from the fire effects. Staff has been able to maintain basic operations in this area causing little disruption to the rest of the region.
Albany Public Library, Clearwater Public Library, and Waite Park Public Library have all extended their hours so as to provide service to St. Cloud library users.
“We know there are regular library users who are missing the access they had to our services in St. Cloud,” said Julie Henne, Associate Director for Public Relations. “The first place they turned was to Waite Park, so Waite Park is busy. We encourage people to visit our other libraries as well. We have temporarily expanded hours in Albany, Clearwater and Waite Park to ensure patrons have access to the library.”
The library will celebrate its reopening, Henne said. “We’ll do something to welcome people back. They’ve been patient and concerned. But I do know they’re anxious. They’re missing their library.”
For more information about library programs, contact the St. Cloud Public Library at 320-650-2500.
Great River Regional Library (GRRL) provides library services at 32 public libraries in Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright Counties. It provides Central Minnesota residents with nearly 1 million books, CDs and DVDs, 250 public computers, programming and information services.