River East Public Library to close for month due to water damage

McHENRY – The River East Public Library will be closed during the month of March as water-damaged carpet is ripped out, some furniture replaced and walls repainted.

The library suffered extensive water damaged in its entrance hallway and bathrooms this January, Director Cherie Wright said.

The piles of snow had climbed so high on the library's flat roof that when the snow began to melt during the first thaw this January, it couldn't reach the run-off and got into the pipes that led to the library's bathrooms, she said.

The water was about 3 inches deep, Wright said.

The River East Public Library was able to stay open during the first stage of the clean-up, when everything was dried out, the walls were washed down and other mold remediation methods taken, she said.

The next stage, though, involves removing everything from the circulation area and storing it while the carpet in that area is replaced, a release from the library said.

The bathroom ceiling tiles, lights, circulation desk and cabinets will also be replaced, and volunteers will also be repainting the main room with a donated blue-ish gray paint, Wright said.

Insurance is covering most of the cost, but the library will cover the difference on the upgraded carpet, she said. It will also have to cover the cost of painting the walls if the donated paint, tools and labor don't work out.

"The problem isn't the money," Wright said. "It's the time that we have to be closed."

During the month-long closure, River East patrons – which includes residents of the McHenry County half of Lakemoor, Eastwood Manor, Kent Acres and parts of River Road – will be able to use their library cards at other nearby libraries, the release said.

While the McHenry Public Library has some restrictions on what non-district cardholders can check out, other area libraries, including the Fox Lake, Wauconda and Johnsburg libraries, only have limits on their online services. River East's online services will continue to be available.

Books checked out after Feb. 15 from the River East Public Library will be due April 1. Groups and clubs will be notified of alternative meeting spots.

Construction updates will be available on the library's website, www.rivereastlibrary.org and its Facebook page.

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