On September 28th, 2022 the Town of Fort Myers Beach and surrounding areas suffered the destruction of Hurricane Ian. In these months following that tragic event, the people of Fort Myers Beach have been working diligently to get back to some normalcy as we rebuild our businesses, homes, and way of life.
The Beach Library is also working hard to complete repairs so that we will be able to open our doors to the community once again. We hope to be there to support our community with services that may be needed during this difficult time. Repairs are being made to the Lobby, 1st Floor, and building exterior. Our elevator is under repair and is estimated to take months to complete- our opening is dependent on the elevator being fully operational.
At this time, the Library does not have Internet access, however, we are working closely with Comcast in an effort to restore services. Once Internet access is restored, we will work towards providing curbside services for the community. This could include materials returns, online and over the phone materials requests and holds, print and copy pick-up services, and notary services.
Thank you for the continued support from the Community and those who have reached to donate and fundraise. Your support is appreciated!
-The Beach Library Staff
Timeline of Reconstruction
|Monday, October 3rd 2022. Pictures taken by an employee after the water receded. Water levels rose to 14 feet, 4 feet above the top of the 1st floor staircase. Most of the materials that were on the lower three shelves were lost in flood waters, along with the children's room furnishing, all office furniture and several servers. On the ground floor, both book returns were compromised and the elevator was badly damaged.|
|Sunday, October 9th 2022. Library staff were able to enter the building following the start of remediation. Damage was assessed on the interior and exterior of the building. On the exterior there was damage to the roof and gutter system, stucco, arm gate, garage meshing, and all exterior doors had come off of their frames due to the pressure. On the interior in addition to the loss of both book drops, the drywall, insulation, and flooring would have to be replaced and extensive work is required to get the elevator operational.|
|Wednesday, October 26th 2022. Remediation company cleans up the interior and lays tarping and cardboard floor covering to prepare for the reconstruction process, the Library moves into the second stage of repair.|
|Tuesday, February 28th 2023. Donations start to pour in from communities, friends groups, book clubs, and a well organized Jeep rally. Library staff continue to sort through damaged materials as construction crews remove glass paneling from the patios, mesh from the garage, and bring in supplies for the next stage of repair.|
|Friday, May 12th 2023. Official permit is issued from the Town of Fort Myers Beach and the crew gets to work immediately installing insulation and drywall. Damaged crawl space is reinforced and stucco repairs are started. Elevator repairs are slow but steady, many parts are required for the repair.|
|June 1st through June 30th 2023. Insulation and drywall are installed on the interior and the painting company applies the new accent wall color. Exterior doors are installed and garage mesh is repaired and rehung. Roof repairs are started and await new panels. Library management selects replacements for decorative accents, flooring to be installed early to mid July. Work has started on exterior gates.|
|August 1st through August 28th- This was a productive month for Library repairs; carpet and flooring were installed on the first floor, new stair treads were put into place, and the walls were repainted. Repairs to the roof and gutter systems are wrapping up and the glass panels on both patios were reinstalled. Phone and camera systems were updated and reconnected.|