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Hale Library at K-State University

In May of 2018, a fire broke out in Hale Library, the flagship building in the Kansas State University Libraries system in Manhattan.

While the fire was contained to the roof, several hundreds of thousands of gallons of water flowed through the 550,000-square-foot building during the firefighting efforts. In addition, soot and smoke damaged the interior and its contents, including most of the books.

The recovery process took a grueling eight months to complete. An estimated 85 percent of the building was gutted, including wiring, ceiling tiles and carpet. In some places, only the bottom 2 feet of the drywall was damaged by water. In other areas, entire walls were stripped down to the metal studs.