Birmingham cooling center does not have working AC

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Update: The Birmingham Public Library says reduced hours will continue into next week at its downtown branch. Air conditioning repairs forced the reduced hours this week.

The second, third and fourth floors will close at 1 p.m. each afternoon. The interim director says the repairs should be finished sometime next week.

Original: The libraries across Birmingham are supposed to be cooling centers during these hot summer temperatures, but one building’s air conditioning is broken.

The AC at the central branch has been slowly giving out for the past few weeks. Now with the hot temperatures consistently, they have to shut down the second through fourth floors at 1 p.m. through the rest of the week. On top of this, the escalators have been out for a long time and the elevators have been out for the past three months. The interim director says big repairs like this are up to the public works department and unfortunately it takes time.

Sandi Lee, interim director said, “They do have to go out and get bids for that particular piece of equipment as well as a contractor to repair. That process does take some time.”

The AC is on the emergency repairs list, so that process is going to be completed faster than the other repairs. They hope to have it fixed by the end of the week. The city council is considering a contract with the company Trane that would work on things like energy efficiency and AC in city buildings, including the library.

The interim director says that would hopefully get things fixed here, but the $60 million contract has so far not been approved by the council.

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