DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- One of the most used libraries in Daytona Beach shut down since Hurricane Irma will finally re-open its doors.

  • Library flooded by Hurricane Irma to reopen its doors
  • 80 percent of building had water damage after flooding
  • Grand re-opening Saturday, May 5 at 10 a.m.

Library director Lucinda Colee said there wasn’t a day that went by without people stopping by the building peeking through the windows. On the outside it looked like it was open, but you couldn't go in.

Every last paint stroke, laying the pictures in the display case, and seeing the finishing touches put on the City Island Library is closing a chapter for Colee.

"I’m just excited that the library’s finally going to reopen our doors," she said.

The building was flooded about nine months ago thanks to Hurricane Irma in September.

The library has been Collee's work home for 15 years. 

"It was devastating. I couldn’t see the damage from the outside. When we walked in the building, it was very upsetting," she said.

About 80 percent of this building had water damage, which left them no choice but to strip out about 2-feet of the drywall, and they lost 200 library items from their book drop where water came in.

"We were able to save most of our collection, so we dried the items," Collee said.

The county said it’s taken some hard work and nearly $1.4 million dollars to bring the library back, also adding a few new features.

Now they have a brand new playground, more meeting space, books and a new children's room, which Colee's kids used years ago.

"That area was more devastating than others. They used to come here to the children's room, have story time; they loved it," she said.

Colee said this is the beginning of a new chapter in the library's story.

"Our library users are going to think that they've entered a new library," she said.

They also are featuring local artists' work in the library.

The grand opening starts Saturday at 10 a.m. They'll also cut the ribbon to open the new park named after Jackie Robinson's wife Rachael Robinson.

The librarian has set up a display to explain the before and after effects of Hurricane Irma. (Brittany Jones, staff)
The librarian has set up a display to explain the before and after effects of Hurricane Irma. (Brittany Jones, staff)