Education Minister Elizabeth Constable today reopened The University of Western Australia's Education, Fine Arts and Architecture Library, after it was severely damaged during Perth's freak 2010 hailstorm.
The library was one of the most prominent casualties of the hailstorm, which caused tens of millions of dollars' damage to UWA's buildings and facilities.
The windows on one side of the building gave way to a landslide of sodden earth and water and the library was flooded to a depth of 41cm. As a result, about 15 per cent of the library's entire collection was lost and the interior was completely destroyed.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson said while the reopening of the library was a significant event, it was also important to recognise the efforts of those involved in the long process of salvage, recovery and refurbishment.
"In particular, I'd like to acknowledge the work of Information Services staff as they set about digging out almost a third of the Education collection and a substantial portion of the Architecture and Fine Arts collection from under almost a metre of mud," Professor Johnson said.
"The work that the staff undertook should never be underestimated - they worked in heartbreaking and emotional conditions to save the collection. They were among the many members of the University community who went beyond the call of duty to help the University recover from the storm damage and swing back into action remarkably quickly.
"Certainly, full refurbishment has taken longer, but the end result means that we have a much higher quality facility than before."
Michael Sinclair-Jones (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 00 700 783