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Phoenix’s main library will be shut down for nearly a year

(Twitter Photo/@CorbinCarson)

PHOENIX — Phoenix’s main public library will be closed for almost a year to repair millions of dollars in damage caused by a broken pipe in July.

City Manager Ed Zuercher said Friday inspection reports turned in over the years addressing concerns about pipe corrosion at Burton Barr Central Library were never shown to top officials. An investigation how that happened was underway.

Other city buildings were being reviewed.

Repair costs to the five-floor building at Central Avenue near McDowell Road were estimated between $6 million and $8 million. The city can pay from reserves and insurance payouts.

The corroded fire-sprinkler pipe burst during a monsoon storm. It has been shut down ever since.

Ceilings, floors, shelving and about 6,000 books were ruined as the breach began letting in 50 to 60 gallons of water per minute, Phoenix Fire Department spokeswoman Reda Riddle-Bigler said at the time.

Several inches of standing water covered the floor. About half the building had some type of damage.

The library, which opened in May 1995, hosts events and has an art gallery, a rare books room and facilities that can be reserved.

Hours at nearby library branches will be expanded to accommodate inconvenienced Burton Barr regulars.

Materials were being moved from the main library to other locations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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