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Charlotte main library to reopen Saturday after broken pipe damages basement

The normally bustling street outside the Mecklenburg Public Library’s main branch was quiet Thursday afternoon — the building is closed indefinitely after a pipe burst in the basement, sending water cascading through the first floor of the building.
The normally bustling street outside the Mecklenburg Public Library’s main branch was quiet Thursday afternoon — the building is closed indefinitely after a pipe burst in the basement, sending water cascading through the first floor of the building.

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s main branch will reopen Saturday after a valve malfunctioned in a pipe in the basement, closing the building for several days.

The damaged pipe was discovered early Monday morning, said Ann Stawski, marketing and communications leader for the library. It’s unknown what caused the valve malfunction. The facility had been closed since, with no set date as to when it will reopen.

None of the library’s book collection was damaged, Stawski said. The basement houses mainly storage and promotional materials, many of which were ruined and would need to be replaced. On Thursday, workers had hauled out cardboard and bags of T-shirts.

On Thursday, large drying vents were along the library’s hallways, pumping in heat to dry out the standing water.

There was standing water in the library for several days, said William Mann, a worker with SpangleR Restoration, and there were still “a few puddles” in the basement as of Thursday. The carpet on the first floor will likely need to be replaced.

Air conditioning was “finally” restored to the building Thursday afternoon, Stawski said. Libraries are common destinations for homeless Charlotte residents to escape the heat, and are even recommended by city officials.

In the meantime, the library was sending patrons to the ImaginOn Center down the street for library needs and questions, and events had been relocated. Insurance is expected to pay for the repairs, Stawski said.


Correction

An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the cause of Monday's water damage and where the damage occurred. It was from a valve malfunction in a pipe, and the damage happened in the basement, not the first floor. The story also incorrectly said there was a police investigation into the damage. The story also gave the wrong first name for Ann Stawski, marketing and communications leader for the library.
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