Crews on June 6 used a crane to lift four specially-made copper coils up to the fourth floor of the Birmingham Public Library, which has been without air conditioning for several weeks. The coils will soon be installed and adjustments made to get the AC in working condition.
“This has been a long time coming,’’ said Angela Fisher Hall, the library’s associate director. “We are looking forward to getting back to full operation. We do appreciate the patience of the public as well as our staff, as we work through these issues.''
In May, the downtown library’s East Building adjusted its hours to cope with the warm temperatures. It opens one hour early at 8:00 a.m. and closes at 12:00 p.m. The Linn-Henley Research Library, which is across the street, is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The temporary hours will remain until further notice.
There are eight coils in the East Building’s air handler. When a cold snap hit Birmingham in February, four coils ruptured on the building’s North side. Four other coils, which are on the other side of the building, were not affected. Loss of the four coils left the building without air this spring and new coils had to be specially made.
Southeastern Temperature Controls Inc. of Pelham has been at the library breaking apart the old coils, building new drain pans and doing prep work. The new parts arrived at the end of May. A crane was used to lift each coil, weighing 600 pounds, to an opening on the library's fourth floor. A crew pulled each coil through the opening. Once the coils were pulled through the opening, a team of five men carried each coil about 25 feet to the air handler. The coils will then be stacked on top of each other.
Several businesses from the mid-West to the East coast experienced the same thing that the library experienced when the cold snap hit. Businesses lost coils and ordered new ones. Coil manufacturers were inundated with requests and businesses and organizations were left waiting for their orders to be filled because of the demand.