Coolbaugh Township, Monroe County - About 1,000 gallons of water drenched plans to open a new library in Monroe County. Library employees are scrambling to repair damage and get the new building up and running.
The staff at the Pocono Mountain Public Library is devastated. The building was supposed to open this month but now it looks like they will have to wait until spring.
Library Director Ann Shincovich told Eyewitness News she feels like the new library project is kind of like the children's book "The Little Engine That Could." She said, "We'll eventually overcome our obstacles."
People have been waiting for a new library for about twenty years. They've been reading and working in a cramped space inside the Coolbaugh Township Municipal Building
About a year and a half ago, the library board finally broke ground on the new building. It's three times as big as the current space and it cost about $6 million.
They were just about to start moving books in, when a flood of devastation struck. Shincovich said, "It's really hard to see something you've worked this hard on get ruined."
The flood happened when a coil for the heating and cooling system burst in the attic. That caused the second floor to flood, which leaked down to the first floor. There was more than an inch of water. It ruined the carpet and the circulation desk. "To see the circulation desk, which is really the heart of the library, have to go out of the building it was really heartbreaking for me," frowned Shincovich.
There is damage that needs to be repaired throughout the building from the ceiling to the floor. It is expected to take several months. Shincovich added, "It's a real hit to us to think that in a few weeks we would have been open to the public and now we have to wait so much longer."
Library patrons were also disappointed. Gary Foote of Tobyhanna said, "It's sad. It sets it back...The library is the greatest resource."
But just like the Little Engine, everyone at the library is saying "I think I can" make it to this project's completion. It should be done by early April.
Insurance is expected to pay for the damage but the library still needs help paying for its mortgage.