Wake County library rebuilds after arson

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The renovations to the Leesville Road Library are almost complete after two suspected arsonists nearly destroyed the building (WTVD)

ABC11 got a first look inside a rebuilt Wake County library Thursday that has been closed for months.

The Leesville Road Library has been closed since February, when Raleigh police say a pair of older teens intentionally set fire to the building.

Library staff said 46,000 books were salvaged after an intense restoration process. For the staff, that's where the fun begins.

"For us, the big job is we have to shelve 46,000 books in accurate order," said Wake County Deputy Library Director Ann Burlingame. "You know, we're professionals, that's what we do. But, it will take a little while. And, the boxes that the books are cleaned in are smaller than the boxes we generally work with. So, 3,500 boxes of books will be returned here and need to be shelved by the Leesville staff, as well as by our collections services staff."

The Book Drop Room where the fire took place now has a fire suppressor system. Crews also expanded the 'Youth Section,' which now makes up 50 percent of the library.

Both suspected arsonists are due in court on Aug. 10. The library is targeting a Sept. 5. opening.

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