Library accident will not accelerate renovations - DatelineCarolina

Library accident will not accelerate renovations

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The inside of the library was also significantly damaged as seen by the splintered walls with wires and insulation sticking out. A structural engineer came to the library Tuesday to asses the damage. The inside of the library was also significantly damaged as seen by the splintered walls with wires and insulation sticking out. A structural engineer came to the library Tuesday to asses the damage.
Collyn Taylor / The Carolina Reporter A woman enters the Richland Library Tuesday morning to donate books. While the branch closed early last night after the wreck, it reopened at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning. Collyn Taylor / The Carolina Reporter A woman enters the Richland Library Tuesday morning to donate books. While the branch closed early last night after the wreck, it reopened at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.

By Jeffrey Griffin and Collyn Taylor

Monday’s accident at the Northeast branch of the Richland Library that shattered the front doors and left three people injured will not accelerate renovations scheduled to begin later this year.

A structural engineer determined the building’s integrity was fine and the steel frame was not damaged, according to community and media relations coordinator Emily Stoll. The library re-opened at its usual time Tuesday, but the damaged main entrance was blocked and library goers were re-routed to a difference entrance.

Stoll said she was not sure when the doors would be repaired.

The accident comes amid a $59 million renovation at the Richland Library's 11 branches, including the Northeast branch at 7490 Parklane Road. Residents passed the referendum in November 2013.

At the Northeast facility, the renovation will restore and reconfigure the existing 15,000-square-foot building, add additional space for two small conference rooms and increase the current meeting room’s size. Improvements will be made to the outside of the facility and the parking lot will be repaved.

The damage Monday will be repaired under a different timetable and will not be included in the renovation process.  "We are on track to have the renovations begin late spring or early summer," Stoll said.

Lance Corporal Matt Southern, a trooper with the Highway Patrol, said an unidentified woman backed in too far in a handicap parking space around 6:30 p.m. Monday, hitting a parked Ford F-150 truck and a Chevrolet Tahoe.

The woman then tried to pull forward and ran into the building, hitting a library customer that was leaving. The driver, the customer and a passenger in the Ford F-150 all went to the hospital with “incapacitating injuries,” according to Southern.

Safety remains a top priority at the library, Stoll said.

“We made sure that our customers were safe and then got them out of building safely. The safety of our customers is our primary concern when dealing with a situation like this,” said Stoll.

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