By Shawn King
The Seaside branch of Queens Library is ready to reopen nearly a year after it was severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy.
The library, located on Beach 116th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard, sustained about $1.6 million in physical damages when storm surge flooded the building, according to Queens Library officials. Nearly half of the library’s book collection, about $500,000 in materials, was lost in the storm.
The interior and exterior walls as well as the floors needed to be repaired, and the electrical system inside the building had to be completely redone, according to a spokeswoman for the library. Books that were salvageable were restored using a process called remediation, which involves using ultra violet light to remove existing mold and prevent further molding.
The Seaside branch will officially re-open for business Monday, but a celebration to mark the branch’s return is slated for the day before – Sunday. Elected and community officials are expected to attend.
The Seaside branch is one of four branches of the Queens Library system that was severely damaged during the storm, and officials estimated the total extent of damage to be $7.6 million, which also included destroyed flooring at the Howard Beach branch. The Broad Channel location has already reopened for business, the Arverne library is scheduled to resume regular service in December, and the Peninsula branch in Rockaway Beach is expected to be closed until sometime in 2014. In the meantime, temporary branches are being utilized at the locations still undergoing repairs.