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CLS library ready to reopen following 2014 fire

August 25, 2015 No Comment

Concordia Lutheran Seminary’s library is poised to reopen following 2014’s fire.

EDMONTON – As students prepare to return to Concordia Lutheran Seminary (CLS) in Edmonton for a new semester, they do so knowing that an important educational resource—the library—will once again be ready to assist them in their studies.

Fire damage in the library. Photo taken by CLS Registrar James Nachtigall, late November 12, 2014.

Fire damage in the library in 2014.

In November 2014, the seminary was the victim of arson in its library basement. While the fire resulted in very little structural damage to the seminary building, the library itself suffered significant smoke and soot damage. Carpet, lighting, ceiling tiles, and some shelving and furnishings needed to be replaced. And while most of the library’s collections were salvageable, they needed a heavy ozone treatment to restore the collection.

Seminary classes continued off-site until later that month when much of the building was reopened for use. But the library itself has remained closed until well into 2015.

“The reconstruction process following the fire on November 12 took a long time,” notes CLS Academic Dean Stephen L. Chambers. “Both floors of the library were gutted of all furnishings and fixtures. The electrical system was thoroughly upgraded, drywall was repaired and painted, new carpet was installed, and finally the shelving was re-installed in a way that preserved its storage capacity while also creating more study space for students. New desks, tables, and chairs– including comfortable armchairs– were purchased. Dedicated catalogue search stations have been provided. Even the traffic flows within the library have been improved, both for staff and for students. “

The seminary library ready to open in Fall 2015.

The seminary library ready to reopen.

The seminary is now poised to begin serving the seminary community and the wider public again by the time classes start on September 8.

Those visiting the library will also benefit from the addition of a new library technician: Anna Yang, who began service at the seminary in mid-July. “Her experience at another Christian school equips her well for the challenges that opening the seminary’s ‘brand new’ library will present,” says Dr. Chambers.


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