Nearly five years after its library was damaged in Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Department of Education announced that St. Croix Central High School will open a new library this year.

The department released photos of the exterior and interior of the planned library.

Director of Education Operations William Matthew said the new 1,500 square foot library has been converted from what was once a student drop-off/pick-up area. Construction began in March 2021 and the approximate cost is $160,000, he said.

The library now features an ADA compliant railing, impact windows, 18 inch reinforced concrete masonry blocks, air conditioning, new electrical outlets, commercial grade metal doors, new vinyl tile and a yellow exterior and a cream interior.

The school’s old library had been closed since sustaining damage in 2017 hurricanes Irma and Maria, the statement said.

“This construction was initiated by the Department because the original library is rapidly deteriorating and is deemed unsuitable for students, faculty and staff,” Matthew said.

He added that “health and safety is our number one priority, which is why we completed this building in time for the new school year.”

According to the press release, the ministry’s operations unit designed the library and a local contractor, Heights Construction, built it.

Matthew, the statement said, thanked the Department of Planning and Natural Resources for expediting the review and permitting process so that the library could be completed before the start of the school year on August 8.