Dilapidated SWAR library demolished to make way for parking lot

Local News

Monday was demolition day in Hope, Arkansas for the old Hempstead County Library.

Temperatures were in the 20s at 8 a.m. didn’t keep at least a handful of people coming out to watch the heavy equipment tear down the old library. For some, it was simply the draw of the noise and commotion. 

“I heard a big boom!” said Danielle Flemming, who works across the street.  

“I remember as a kid coming to the library checking out books getting on the computers,” remembered Vonshelia Anderson.

The library was built in the 40s and had fallen into disrepair. 

“The spots in the ceiling, the cracks in the walls,” Anderson recalled. “It needed to be done.”

Library Director Courtney McNiel streamed part of the demolition live on social media.

“Several people said ‘I grew up in that library’ and ‘I can’t believe they’re tearing it down!’  I was looking at the library and I pointed up and I was like, ‘that big silver thing, that’s the new library that’s behind there,'” she said.

The library was moved into its new, bigger and brighter location last month. McNiel said they hope to have all the debris cleared up by the end of the week. 

“It’s a sad day, but it’s also a happy day,” she said.  

Soon, a new parking lot will take the place of the old library. 

“I think it was time for a new building,” said Flemming. “Of course, there’s a lot of memories in there, but hopefully … (we’ll) make more new memories in the new library.”

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