Houston, TX -- According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), $21.4 million has been approved for the University of Houston O'Quinn Law Library for the replacement of 174,000 copies of law books and the microfiche storage collection pending compliance with program requirements.
The library lower level, where the law books were housed, was flooded with 8 feet of water after heavy rains from Tropical Storm Allison in June. The $21.4 million federal share approved by FEMA consists of two projects, one for a total project amount of $1,204,600 for microfiche collection and the other for a total project amount of $27,295,196 for law book replacement. FEMA provides 75 percent of the cost with the remaining 25 percent non-federal share coming from local sources.
"This $21.4 million in federal funds approved for the University of Houston O?Quinn Law Library demonstrates the importance that is placed on education. FEMA is proud to be a part of this restoration program," said Scott Wells, FEMA federal coordinating officer.
"The State of Texas recognizes the importance of this project and will make every effort to assist the University of Houston to expedite the reimbursement process," said Butch Smith, Division of Emergency Management (DEM), Texas Department of Public Safety, state coordinating officer. UH President Arthur K. Smith said, "Almost six months ago the O'Quinn Law Library suffered extensive damage from Tropical Storm Allison. At the time we were concerned about how we would recover from this devastating natural disaster. With the support of all our communities, and major assistance from FEMA, not only have we recovered, but we're putting in place an even stronger and more secure resource for our Law Center faculty and students as well as the community."
Nancy Rapoport, dean of the UH Law Center, said, "Although no one ever wants to experience a natural disaster, especially one of this magnitude, the fact remains that, thanks to FEMA and the UH administration, we?re going to have the opportunity to build back a library collection responsive to the needs of the community - a 21st century library collection for a 21st century world."
The funds are made available under the FEMA Public Assistance program. The State of Texas administers the program. Under the program, eligible disaster-related costs are reimbursed to government and certain non-profit units providing essential government-like services in the area of emergency protective measures, debris removal and restoration of public facilities.