GLEN ELLYN – After sustaining significant damage from 5 feet of floodwater in its basement as well as sewage water on the first floor, the Glen Ellyn Public Library is set to reopen Saturday for its Abraham Lincoln and Civil War Open House that had been previously planned.
Last week's storms caused the library to close April 18 after the library's sump pumps were unable to keep up with the stormwaters, causing damage to equipment in the library's mechanical room. Sewage water also overflowed through the bathroom drains on the first floor, so all carpet, dry wall and insulation in that area had to be removed. The area was sanitized.
The reopening date for the library was originally set for April 29. But on Monday, Executive Director Dawn Bussey said she hoped the library would be able to reopen in time for the Civil War exhibit.
In a news release issued Thursday, officials announced this hope will be a reality. The library will resume normal businesses hours that day, and the open house will run from 1:30 until 4 p.m.
According to the release, some of the credit for the early reopening of the library belongs to members of the Glen Ellyn community, which provided tremendous support to the library.
“I am taken aback by the support we have received from the Glen Ellyn community,” marketing coordinator Anthony McGinn said. “I received more than 100 emails last Thursday alone from library members making sure everyone was safe, some offering to volunteer, others offering donations. I cannot express how uplifting those messages have been to me and our staff.”
As crews continued to clean and repair the facility, library staff members were back at work this week providing curbside service to library patrons. Residents may continue to use the curbside service between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.Thursday and Friday to return or pick up materials.
On Wednesday, Glen Ellyn Public Library members checked in 799 items and checked out 360 items using the service, according to the release.
The initial flood cleanup was completed by Wednesday, according to a library email. The library also needed a functional air-moving system and bathrooms in order to open as a public building.
“We have been working with the Planning and Development division of the village of Glen Ellyn to ensure safety,” McGinn said in the release. “Staff and library member safety is our No. 1 priority. We are taking every single precaution to ensure that our building is safe before opening to the public on April 27.”
The library recovery now has transitioned to restoration mode, which means certain areas will remain closed to the public including the meeting rooms as they require new carpeting and repaired drywall.