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Library to reopen

October 05, 2005|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WILLIAMSPORT

erinc@herald-mail.com

The Williamsport Memorial Library will reopen today, but two rooms in the building along East Potomac Street in Williamsport will be closed, Mayor James G. McCleaf II said.

The library closed one week ago after a 12-inch portion of the ceiling collapsed. McCleaf said a drain on the roof clogged, which forced water into the building and damaged the ceiling.

The ceiling in a room near the library's entrance looked similar to the ceiling that was damaged last week, so that room was blocked off along with the room containing the damaged ceiling, McCleaf said.

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"There was the possibility that if they continue to get wet, the ceiling could fall," he said.

One of the rooms contained some of the children's collection, and those items have been moved to another portion of the library.

Because the two rooms were closed, the library's handicapped entrance cannot be used, McCleaf said. There is no access for handicapped patrons.

"But, if they call, we will do our best to serve them in any way possible," he said.

While McCleaf said the library's roof was not directly to blame for the ceiling problem, it does need to be replaced. He recently found town hall documents showing that requests have been made for a new roof since 1987.

"We've been patching it and making it work," he said. "But we can no longer patch it. It has to be a total replacement."

McCleaf said he is hoping to have something in place by the end of December. Until then, he said the roof is "secure," and no library patrons should feel "unsafe." He said the debris problem caused by the clogged drain on the roof has been fixed.

"We're glad we're back open," he said. "We didn't want to keep the library closed any longer than we had to."

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