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A new chapter: Ellis Memorial Library re-opens

Posted at 6:42 PM, Jan 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-04 23:04:20-05

PORT ARANSAS, Texas — The William R. "Bill" Ellis Memorial Library in Port Aransas re-opened their doors Saturday morning.

The public library was struck by Hurricane Harvey in August of 2017 when the storm ripped through Aransas County.

At that time, the library was in the middle of an expansion project.

"And then Harvey hit and it really devastated the library. All the collection was ruined." Rick Kalke, a longtime library board member, said.

But today, new books were displayed on shelves and the community celebrated a fresh start.

"You walk in the doors today and it's really a bright, open feeling to see so many bright smiling faces and all the books on the shelves."

"Everything looks open and bright. It just gives you a good feeling." Kalke said.

City Manager, Andy Parsons, says this is one of the first permanent buildings to be re-opened in Port Aransas since the hurricane.

"It's taken about two years past the hurricane." Parsons said. "Almost two and a half years to get to where we are today, opening the doors of the library. So it's been a long road."

A large portion of books on the shelves were donated, some shipped from as far as California and Maine, making it possible to re-open what community members call the 'heart of the city.'

"It just reaches such a wide spectrum, individuals, families, locals, winter Texans. So it's just a really important focal point." Parsons said.