Daily 49er

University Library lower level temporarily shut down after water leak

An air conditioner leak in the library's mechanical room reaches lower level, causing it to close.

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Most students attempting to enter the University Library's lower level will discover that it is temporarily closed (9/4).

Most students attempting to enter the University Library's lower level will discover that it is temporarily closed (9/4).

Grant Hermanns | Daily 49er

Grant Hermanns | Daily 49er

Most students attempting to enter the University Library's lower level will discover that it is temporarily closed (9/4).

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Students trying to catch a study break in the University Library’s lower level will be greeted by locked double doors with a sign taped to them stating that the entire floor except for the Disabled Students Study Room is closed.

Those who don’t have access to room 13, the Disabled Students Study Room, will have to wait until the carpet is completely redone in approximately two weeks.

According to Mark Zakhour, director of design and construction services, a water leak forced the library to replace the already aging carpets, resulting in a temporary closure.

The leak occurred on March 21 after Facilities Management finished working in the library’s mechanical room to improve the campus chillers.

“Apparently, one of the fittings was defective from the manufacturer,” Zakhour explained. “Three days after we installed it, the fitting failed.”

Zakhour estimated that there was 1 ½-2 inches of water in the basement after the pipes leaked.

The 3D printers in the Gerald M. Kline Innovation Space, which are above the ground, were safe. However, the sheet linoleum of the I-Space was damaged, as well as a significant portion of the carpeting and the lower walls.

“[The basement] is my go-to spot because it’s a little less crowded than the other floors,” said Sharlene Huynh, a graduate creative writing student who was disappointed by the closure.

A sign notifying students of the closure is present on the first floor of the library, near the staircase.

The library will return the basement to its former state, but Dean of Library Services Roman Kochan plans to update its look.

“That’s been on my wish list ever since we opened the fifth floor, which is one of the most popular floors in the building,” he said.

Kochan said that the library plans to begin working on basement upgrades after the floor is reopened to all students.

“My hope is to turn that floor into something… [with] more modern furniture with electrical outlets at every station,” Kochan said.

 

This story was updated on Sept. 5 to correct its deck. The leak occured in the library’s mechanical room, not Academic Services.

This story was updated on Sept. 5. A sign notifying students of the lower level’s temporary closure is now present.

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