Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Inundated by 30,000 gallons of rain, Jimmie B. Keel library to reopen Tuesday

TAMPA — Heavy rain last week dumped 30,000 gallons of water — more than the capacity of many residential swimming pools — into the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library.

As a result, Hillsborough County's busiest library was closed most of last week while workers pumped out, dried out and made repairs. But it is scheduled to reopen Tuesday.

"We don't want to open too fast and then find that we've got mold and mildew in there and things are not working," Hillsborough County Library Services director Joe Stines said last week.

The library is in the midst of a $2.9 million expansion, and during a major storm Tuesday, water ran off the roof and onto the expansion's slab, then flooded under a temporary wall into the building. Little or no printed material was lost, but the carpet was soaked and the library's electrical and computer lines are in the floor, as are many electrical outlets.

Library administrators expect contractor Ellis Construction's insurance to cover the costs of reopening the library. With the expansion, the library will go from 25,000 to 35,000 square feet. The project is scheduled to be done in early December.

The Jimmie B. Keel library had nearly 308,000 visitors last year and checked out more than 857,000 items, making it by far the most heavily used the library in the county. In second place, the Bloomingdale library, which is undergoing a similar expansion, checked out about 663,000 items last year.

The Jimmie B. Keel library, at 2902 W Bearss Ave., serves the Carrollwood, Northdale and Lake Magdalene areas. (It is named for a former longtime assistant county administrator.) Most of the money for the original building was donated by the Austin Davis-WD Charities foundation. It opened in 2001, and from the start county officials planned for an expansion. That's why the library's east wall consisted largely of glass. For the expansion, that wall was removed and replaced with the temporary wall that did not stop the rain on Tuesday.

As the library flooded, librarians determined that the electricity was off, then moved books from the bottom to the top shelves of the stacks, just as they would in a hurricane.

For the rest of the week, workers ran pumps and dehumidifiers to dry out the library and head off lingering damage.

"If mold and mildew get started in our books," Stines said, "it spreads like a fire."

Richard Danielson can be reached at (813) 226-3403, Danielson@tampabay.com or @Danielson_Times on Twitter.

>>On the Web

When will it open?

For information on the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, check hcplc.org/hcplc/locations/jbk. While the library is scheduled to reopen Tuesday, the Ins and Outs of Acupuncture program has been canceled, and Baby Time will resume June 11.

Inundated by 30,000 gallons of rain, Jimmie B. Keel library to reopen Tuesday 05/26/13 [Last modified: Monday, May 27, 2013 8:39am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 20 local museums are offering free admission or deals Saturday for Free Museum Day

    Visual Arts

    For all the community's support of the arts in the bay area, it's nice to be rewarded with free admission once in a while. And that's exactly what many area museums are offering on Saturday.

    The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is among the museums participating in the Smithsonian's Museum Day Live, offering free admission. (LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Special to the Times)
  2. Cubs bring some other ex-Rays to Trop such as Wade Davis, Ben Zobrist

    Blogs

    Joe Maddon's first trip back to the Trop is getting most of the headlines tonight, but there are several other familiar faces among the eight former Rays now wearing Cubs uniforms.

  3. Bicyclist in critical condition after colliding with vehicle in St. Petersburg

    Accidents

    ST. PETERSBURG — A bicyclist is in critical condition after he ran a red light and was struck by a car on Monday night, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.

  4. Myanmar leader sidesteps atrocity allegations in first address on Rohingya crisis (w/video)

    World

    YANGON, Myanmar - In her first major speech Tuesday on the worsening Rohingya crisis, Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, sidestepped allegations of atrocities committed against the stateless Muslim minority and cast the conflict as just one of many problems ailing the country.

    A Rohingya Muslim, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, carries his belongings as he arrives at Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. With a mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims sparking accusations of ethnic cleansing from the United Nations and others, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday said her country does not fear international scrutiny and invited diplomats to see some areas for themselves. [Associated Press]
  5. Florida education news: Free lunch, school routines, spending cuts and more

    Blogs

    FREE LUNCH: Hurricane Irma caused many families to go without income for a week. Many also lost power, and along with it the food in their refrigerators and freezers. Making matters worse, replacing it isn't so easy, as grocery stores have limited supplies. Hoping to ease the burden, the state has asked for …