Temporary CIU Library Being Built for New School Year

August 10, 2010

The building of a temporary library is underway on the campus of Columbia International University following a fire in the G. Allen Fleece Library that occurred in May. The initial estimate of damages was $2.5 million. But school officials say after further inspection, the cost of repairs will probably be higher.

"We are committed to provide a suitable alternative for our students as soon as possible after they return this fall," said Bob Kallgren, CIU vice president for institutional effectiveness. "That's why we are building a temporary library in the center of campus behind Shortess Chapel, instead of fitting library services in various available spots around campus."

Kallgren says the temporary library will house the books and resources most often used by the students. The temporary structure stands within view of the burned library which is fenced off as workers continue to remove charred debris. Meanwhile, Kallgren says the Fleece Library will be repaired using the insurance settlement with some improvements to the library being funded through the gifts of donors. If you would like to join in helping, gifts should be designated for "Library Restoration."

No one was injured in the May 7 blaze that started in the early morning hours when the library was closed. The fire was concentrated in vital sections of the library. Over 40,000 volumes, including many rare Bible translations, Bible commentaries, and theology books were a total loss, as were American and British literature and counseling books. All remaining books have smoke damage and are being restored by a company that specializes in disaster recovery.

The exact cause of the fire is still being investigated by local authorities.