Alabaster opens library expansion
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
A little more than a week before Alabaster officials celebrated the grand opening of the new wing at the Albert L. Scott Public Library on July 18, the city received an unwelcome surprise.
After crews worked for the past few months to construct a new 1,517-square-foot addition next to the library’s children’s section, heavy rains on July 9 caused about 2 inches of water to flood the library.
“As you may have heard, we had a little snafu. I got a call at about 9 at night saying that the person who cleans the library had walked into about 2 inches of standing water,” Frings said during the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new expansion.
Frings said city crews, including firefighters from the nearby Station 1, chipped in to quickly replace carpet throughout the library and clean water damage in preparation for the grand opening ceremony.
“Everyone chipped in to help out,” Frings said, noting the library was repaired by July 16.
Despite the unexpected setbacks, dozens gathered at the library on July 18 to celebrate the opening of an expansion Frings said the city has “needed for a number of years.”
The expansion, which is large enough to accommodate large events such as the summer reading program, replaced a mobile classroom placed on the library property more than a decade ago.
The library was paid for with cash, resulting in no new debt for the city, Frings said. Grants provided by state Rep. Mike Hill, R-Columbiana, and state Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, will help install shelving and other upgrades in the new addition.
“It wasn’t good. Everyone was packed in there like sardines,” Frings said of the mobile unit. “But the library staff did a great job with what they had.
“We needed to get out of that trailer,” Ward 4 Councilman Rick Walters added.
Although heavy rains again flooded the library shortly after the grand opening ceremony, city officials said the new addition was not damaged.