From Department Store to Library in West Texas

Things are a-changing in San Angelo.

Workers last week toppled the brick walls on the first floor of the Hemphill Wells Building, opening the interior to the elements and giving a glimpse into what the new library will look like when completed more than a year from now.

"It's quite different to look at," said Library Director Larry Justiss. "That came down fast. There was just a skin left after the asbestos people got through. A good wind could have blown it over." The library's designs call for a ground floor enclosed entirely in glass, though it will be a few more months before those working inside get any relief from the winter weather.

Construction work, delayed by the discovery of asbestos in the abandoned department store, began in earnest last month and is expected to continue until spring 2010.

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