Atmore Public Library may reopen by July

Published 9:51 am Monday, June 6, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
After almost a nine-month wait, the Atmore Public Library is beginning to shape up.
The library, heavily damaged by the winds and rain of Hurricane Ivan in September, has been undergoing renovations since the storm. While operations are not yet complete, and probably won't be for another month or two, Library Director Joyce Bolen is excited to see that progress is being made.
"We're going to try to do our grand opening in July," Bolen said. "I've been on the phone all morning with the workers trying to push them toward that date. We're going to try to have something special for the public, also."
Hurricane Ivan damaged the roof of the building, and rains eventually collapsed several areas of the ceiling. Many of the computers at the library were damaged, and a massive number of books wound up water-damaged.
"We're still weeding out 30 books a day that have been water-damaged," Bolen said. "We got so many books donated to us after the storm, and a lot of them were duplicates and triplicates of things we already had, so we're going to try to sell them."
In addition to new books that were recently donated, the Atmore Public Library will be selling off many of its old copies of books. The book sale will begin Monday.
Bolen said that while the library looks a lot better, there are still so many things to do.
"There are a lot of different things in the library that still aren't finished," Bolen said. "We still don't have our elevators fixed. There are so many parents and grandparents going with their kids who can't get up the stairs, that's part of the reason we haven't opened back up yet. The roof is not yet complete. Thomas Roofing out of Mobile – and they're one of the best around – keeps running out of materials because so many people need roofs right now. We can't get what we need to get the job done. A lot of our light fixtures received water-damage from the storm. We still don't have some of that wiring fixed. We still don't have the tape off our windows. Everything around on the outside of the building needs to be power-washed.
"We need to replace a lot of our memorials," Bolen continued. "We've got plaques out but no trees that were planted as memorials, so we have to plant more trees. There's a lot of caulking to be done around the windows. There are a lot of things people don't realize need to be done that need to be done."
Bolen said that the main thing that disappointed her was the interruption of a long tradition in Atmore.
"We won't be able to have the summer reading program this year," Bolen said. "We've been doing that for a long time, but with the late start and not knowing when we'll open, it would be tough."
Bolen also felt it was important to get things fixed before they may be faced with more difficult circumstances.
"I'd really like to have the roof repaired since it's hurricane season; if nothing else, the roof," Bolen said. "We really need our roofs put on before another hurricane gets here."

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox