Update November 16, 2020: We have found temporary locations for Operations Center staff, and our mailing address for the duration will be:
Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries Operations Annex
11818 SE Mill Plain Blvd
Vancouver, WA 98684
At this point, all flood damage has been removed from the Operations Center, but reconstructing may take up to a year, including major electrical work.
Update October 18, 2020: Work continues on drying out the basement. The whole building is currently unusable—even upstairs, which was above the flood. There’s no electricity, and a musty smell pervades both floors. We have hired a contractor to dry the building and remove the damaged materials, and they’re currently pumping in warm dry air and pumping out cold damp air as well as removing damaged items. This clean-up is estimated to take about a month.
Although we are working to recover some documents that we need for legal reasons, most of our flood-damaged materials can’t be saved, including many stored documents and artwork. Some items can and will be replaced: five vehicles, countless books, supplies, computers, and other equipment. Luckily our insurance is good and will cover most losses as well as relocation expenses.
Once all flood damage is removed, we’ll hire a contractor to rebuild the building to livable shape, which could take eight to ten months. In the meantime, we’ve located space in east Vancouver for part of our Operations Center staff to work and hope to have that location up and running by the end of October. We’re still in the process of locating space for the remainder of the Operations Center departments and the Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation.
We appreciate the goodwill of the community and your offers to help! Because we were well insured, we aren’t in need of donations of money or items for flood recovery. Since we lost much of our storage space, however, one way to help is to check out library materials. And if you’re interested in supporting FVRLibraries in other ways, we encourage you to look for opportunities through the FVRL Foundation.
Original post (October 4, 2020): On Saturday, October 3, Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries was alerted by contractors working on the new school behind FVRL’s Operations Center in Vancouver that they broke an 18” water main. The lower floor of the Operations Center was flooded to about two and a half feet, and our vehicle bays and loading docks were swamped out even higher. The areas affected housed our fleet and facilities, IT, collection development operations, storage, and mailroom functions as well as several library vehicles. Though the top floor of the building was not damaged, the building's power and HVAC systems were affected.
The library district is still working to assess the damage, though it is extensive. The focus for the next few days will be to drain and dry out the building, as well as plan for moving services to other locations if needed. Because the Operations Center is the hub for the district’s 15 locations, this will likely cause some lag in library services such as processing of holds for curbside pickup at library branches as well as sending of books by mail. The district is prioritizing patron-facing services as part of the recovery process.
Thank you for your patience as we react to this loss and the disruption of our centralized services.