Phoenicia Library to reopen Saturday in former health center

Photo of fire-damaged Phoenicia Library, shared on a local Facebook group by Denise Owens.

The Phoenicia Library may be down, but it isn't out. The librarians announced today that the library will be open starting Saturday in a new temporary location, the building on Ava Maria Drive that formerly hosted the Maverick West health clinic. An email sent to their friends and supporters:

We have a temporary headquarters! In the former Maverick West Building, across from the post office at 9 Ava Maria. We will open this Saturday, March 26th. Letter Friends will be held at its regular time 11 am.

The library board and staff are grateful to the Town for helping to make this happen in less than a week.

This will be a simple operation to start, but, we hope to restore as many services as we can relatively soon. In time, we hope to set up a small lending library and have computers available for public use. If you have library books to return, you may do so that day.

We are so grateful to the community for all of the offers of help, and ask for your continued patience as we land and regroup. Due to temporary storage issues, we ask that you hold on to book donations for now, and we will provide more information on when and where to drop them off.

Of course we will keep you posted, but for now, we’ll see you Saturday.

The Daily Freeman reports that the library building itself may be salvageable.

Renovated by the Phoenicia Library Association just three years ago, the building now sits broken, but not dead, due to what fire officials say was a blaze caused by a short in electrical wiring.

What remains is the shell of the building, but the contents are gone due to water, smoke and fire damage.