ELKVIEW, W.Va. — The Elkview Branch of the Kanawha County Public Library is nearly ready to reopen.

The facility located in the Crossings Mall Shopping Plaza has been idle for more than a year like everything else in the plaza with access cut off by the 2016 flood.  The library has announced it will reopen Aug. 1.

“The first thing we are doing is having a crew go in and give it a thorough cleaning,” said Terry Wooten Marketing and Development Manager for the Kanawha County Library System. “It’s been empty for over a year.”

Crews with the library were able to remove some materials soon after the flood when a temporary access road into the plaza was in place.

“We were able to get up there and take things out that needed to be moved, but most of the stuff just stayed there,” Wooten explained.

During the past year the library services for the region have been running in a mobile operation and at the Elk Valley Express Library in Big Chimney. The mobile unit will stay in place even after the Elkview location reopens because of the needs in Clendenin where the library remains closed from damages caused by the high water.

The reopening will be a soft event, but Wooten said there are plans later to celebrate the grand reopening.

“We’re not going to do anything that day, but Aug. 14 at 6 p.m. is our annual meeting,” she explained. “We’re going to have the annual meeting at that location and have an open house night.”

The deadline for the library’s summer reading program to wrap up is July 29, but Wooten explained since the Elkview facility will be closed that week, they have extended the deadline for locations countywide to Aug. 7.

A new bridge under construction at the Crossings Mall is expected to be completed in a few weeks. The former culvert bridge was wiped out in the flood. Twenty-three of 26 mall tenants have indicated plans to reopen.

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