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Repairs to begin at York County's main library branch

Repair work and improvements are set to begin Monday at the York County Library's main branch in Rock Hill. The work will require the main branch to close for at least two weeks.

In July, the York County Council approved about $470,000 worth of repairs and replacements for the 30-year-old building on East Black Street, including a new roof.

Library executive director Colleen Kaphengst said the work should be completed by the end of September.

"The library board and I are committed to closing as little as possible, but we have to consider staff and public safety during a large construction project such as this is," she said.

"In addition, weather will undoubtedly play a role and none of us can predict summer storms, especially during hurricane season," she added.

"We will attempt to give the public as much notice as possible but also understand the need for flexibility for a project of this scope."

An official date for the closing has not been determined.

The new roof will cost about $200,000. The building also will have a new boiler - estimated to cost about $95,000 - and improvements to brickwork and sidewalks and a resurfaced parking lot.

Throughout the past few years, the library has had to replace much of the building's infrastructure, including part of the HVAC system and the chilling tower and air handling units for air-conditioning. In addition, the elevator has been upgraded, and sidewalks and walkways have been repaired.

Kaphengst said repairs are needed because of the building's age, adding that it was originally a "very well-built" building.

But after the building's superintendent reported minor leaks in the past year and an engineer found "stair step cracks" in the 4-foot high parapets, it was necessary to make more improvements.

Updates and closing information will be available on the York County Library website at www.yclibrary.org, the library's Facebook page or through the message service at 803-981-5858 or 803-323-5508.

No items will be due on days the library is closed. The book drop box will be available to return items.

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