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Phoenix Burton Barr Central Library Almost Ready To Reopen After Flood Damage

burton barr library
Christina Estes/KJZZ
file | staff
Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix.

Ten months after flooding severely damaged Phoenix’s main library, the city manager is providing an update on its repairs and reopening.

In a report to council members, City Manager Ed Zuercher said Phoenix has spent $8.7 million of the $9 million the city has received in insurance funds and $2.1 million of library reserve funds to cover restoration work and upgrades at Burton Barr Central Library.

All floors have new plumbing, updated smoke evacuation systems and electrical and IT cabling, among other things. The first through fourth floors have new flooring, drywall, paneling, doors and a new roof and fire suppression system is currently being installed on the fifth floor.

Last July, a wind storm shook the roof and sent dust flying. The sprinkler system confused the dust with smoke and water gushed out of holes in corroded pipes. Zuercher disciplined 11 city employees he said knew or should have known about leaks and failed to act.

The upgrade projects include two glass enclosed computer labs in “Maker’s Space” on the fourth floor, a larger College Depot area and more space in The Children’s Place.

Zuercher said details on the reopening are still being worked out, but it is expected to be in June with all 192 employees in place.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.