Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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After lengthy delay, workers finally move furniture into downtown library

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BATON ROUGE - Nearly two years since a structural failure threw construction of the downtown library completely off track, the furniture is finally going in.

Peeking inside you can see the space beginning to take shape, metal bookshelves line the walls and tables are being assembled.

Crews are putting the finishing touches on the building before it gets handed over to the parish. 

"We are punching out the building, which means the long list, just like at your house after the flood, where you look for every little detail because now's the chance to fix those things," Assistant Director Mary Stein said. 

The last set opening date was in December, but Stein says the cyber attack that crippled much of the state last year made it difficult for them to meet that deadline. 

"We had some things in the works, in the pipeline, for the bid process, and they were delayed. That malware attack is just a gift that keeps on giving," she said.

Special chairs still need to be ordered and assembled, computers and other expensive equipment installed and arguably the most important aspect of any library -- the books. Stein says they should start arriving by the end of the month.

"If the book isn't in the right place, you might as well not have it. So getting those books correctly sorted on the shelves will not take a few minutes. It will take a little bit longer than that." 

As for the elephant in the room, after nearly $3 million in repairs Stein says she has no doubt that the building is now safe.

"I'm absolutely confident. I'll be there a lot to prove my confidence. The director will be there a lot to show his confidence in the building."

The new expected opening date is this Spring. 


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