by Mariah Parker, Multimedia Editor
Students seeking quiet in the Library during finals may have to look elsewhere this year. In the coming weeks, independent contractors will begin much-needed repairs to the Library’s leaky roof.
“We’re really, really excited to fix the roof,” says Library Director Chris Nugent. “We’ve had to put collection buckets in the main reading area and have kept the computers [in the McGuire room] covered in plastic for years.”
According to Nugent and other library staff, moisture from the leakage has also caused damage to the interior paneling and mold to grow in some of their reading materials.
“We’ve had to reorder books, fix electrical stuff from lights busting out…” says senior Library crew member Cody Gordon. “We’re gonna have to fix it eventually.”
While excited about the upgrades, the Library staff is well aware of the sensitivities of their student clientele.
“You’ll definitely hear hammering,” says Nugent. “We’ve alerted Paula Garrett [Dean of Academic Affairs], so she can make sure students have what they need during this time.”
According to Nugent, the roof work will be completed during regular 8-5 work hours, which will guarantee quiet in the library during the evenings. The library staff will also make earplugs available to students.
“When study rooms were built we had similiar concerns. We thought it’d be terrible but it wasn’t. There was some noise but students were really understanding,” says Nugent.
The project is tentatively scheduled to begin the last week of April and will continue for six weeks. “We expect to finish the bidding process by the 23rd,” says Lackey. “We’ve decided on roofing contractor Eskola Roofing, but the construction company is still up in the air.”
The repairs, supervised by Lackey and a team of FMTS staff, will take place in two stages, says Nugent.
Stage one will address the exterior portion of the pitched part of the roof, which covers the circulation desk, computer lab, periodical section and main reading area.
Stage two, which will take place during the summer, will address issues with the flat part of the roof which covers the reference section and staff offices. According to Nugent, this stage will be more involved, as it will address both exterior issues and interior ones, like beam reinforcement.
“The offices will have to be vacated, the reference area covered–it’s just too much to do during the school year,” says Nugent.
Currently, white stones holds the roof steady against updrafts of wind. The new roof, however, will fully mechanically adhere to the rest of the structure. The shingles and ballasted rubber roofing will be removed and replaced with light-reflecting granulated roofing, which will keep the building cool while reducing energy costs.
Lackey and Nugent hope to one day complete the upgrade with a living roof structure. With grass and moss growing on the roof, the structure will last twice as long, improve insulation, and conserve energy.
For now, all Nugent and her staff want is a roof that doesn’t leak.
“We’ve got to start or we’ll never get finished,” Nugent says.