Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

While fire damage is repaired, plans call for temporary East Hernando library

The East Hernando Branch Library fire started in the patio area and caused extensive smoke and water damage from sprinklers. Repairs are expected to last through summer.

Photo by Chris Price

The East Hernando Branch Library fire started in the patio area and caused extensive smoke and water damage from sprinklers. Repairs are expected to last through summer.

RIDGE MANOR — Residents who have missed their access to books and computers since the East Hernando Branch Library was damaged by fire last summer will likely have another nearby option soon.

The Hernando County Commission today is expected to approve a no-cost lease with the Ridge Manor Community Center, which will turn the center's east wing into a temporary library.

"It's how a community center should be used — for the community,'' said Lynn Gruber-White, president of the Ridge Manor Property Owners Association. "It's very, very exciting that the community center board saw this need and made this service available.''

While the proposed lease would end in August, which is when repairs to the East Hernando library are expected to be completed, the lease is open-ended. The board of the community center has agreed not to lease the east wing until the library branch has reopened, Gruber-White said.

A portion of the county library services' book collection will be set up in the community center so area residents can resume checking out materials.

The temporary location will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and might open on Saturdays at some point, Gruber-White said. In addition, a room will be set aside for computer use and Internet access. In the summer, the plan is to use the main hall on Wednesdays for the children's reading program.

The community center is at 34240 Cortez Blvd.

Gruber-White said computer access has been missed by Ridge Manor residents, some of whom have been driving all the way to Brooksville to get to the library. Library services employees, whom Gruber-White said have been good to work with, told her that computers are among the most utilized features of the county's libraries.

A soft opening of the temporary library may come soon after the commission's formal acceptance of the lease, she said. A grand opening is planned for March 10. At 6 p.m. that evening, the location will sponsor a movie night featuring the movie Up. Popcorn and refreshments will be served.

The East Hernando Branch Library was set on fire in early July last year. The fire caused extensive smoke and water damage from the sprinklers. The county had to hire a service to meticulously clean and pack every book.

Eighteen-year-old Joseph M. Brannen was charged with second-degree arson in connection with the fire. He told officials he set the fire so he could help firefighters put it out.

Late last month, the County Commission awarded the contract to repair the library to Samsson Construction Inc. of Aripeka at a cost of $83,770.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1434.

While fire damage is repaired, plans call for temporary East Hernando library 02/24/14 [Last modified: Monday, February 24, 2014 10:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump controversies continue to take toll on Mar-a-Lago

    Blogs

    President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club continues to lose business in light of his controversial remarks on race and violence.

  2. Taylor Swift ends intrigue, announces new album in November

    Blogs

    Yes, Taylor Swift fans, Wednesday was a lucky one for you.

    This cover image released by Big Machine shows art for her upcoming album, "reputation," expected Nov. 10.
  3. Taking heat from some for Charlottesville remarks, Rubio denounces the 'other side'

    Blogs

    Sen. Marco Rubio, who has come under fire for not denouncing the “Antifa,” did so in a speech last night in Florida, bemoaning people “on the other side of the political spectrum who …

    Marco Rubio on the campaign trail in 2015
  4. How to make a Strawberry Banana Smoothie

    Cooking

    Don't enjoy breakfast but need to get something in your stomach? Cranky around 3 p.m. and need a jolt of energy? Have trouble getting your daily recommended fruit servings? This smoothie is the cure for all of that and more. It's become my morning go-to. The secret ingredient here is kefir, a probiotic product that's …

    Strawberry Banana Smoothie. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.