Leaking roof causes issues for Collier library

The Archives section could potentially be damaged if leak returns.

by News Editor Breanna Littrell

Collier library has had small leaks for many years, and without a solution it could damage irreplaceable items.

Board of trustees member Libby Jordan said the library has needed a new roof for almost a decade.

“It has been patched many times, and it is still leaking,” she said. “The biggest issue is that there is a leak over the archive section. If those are destroyed, they are lost forever. There is no way to replace them.”

Michael Gautney, assistant vice president of Facilities Administration and Planning, said the estimated cost to replace the roof is $450,000.

“We are working to develop drawings and specifications to competitively bid the roof replacement,” he said. “I anticipate that if funding is approved we will begin the roof replacement this spring. Until then we are working with our roofing contractor to patch the areas that are leaking.”

Dean of Library Services Duane Davis said the library has four roofs because it was built in sections. All of the roofs are flat, which are notorious for leaking.

“I’ve been here almost seven years, and there had been some repairs before I arrived, and they have worked on many sections since I have been here,” he said.  

Davis said the issue is the leak on the second floor near the archive section. He said although the leak is near the archives, it has not bled over to them yet.

“About a year ago in the spring semester, we got a lot of snow and ice and it just kind of sat there,” he said. “When it melted it just started leaking.

“(Facilities Administration and Planning) had the roof patched. They also had to do some work to repaint the walls and replace the carpet. Well, that’s kind of returned. I don’t know if the repair they did didn’t take or what, but its back.”

Davis said in addition to the leak on the second floor, there have recently been minor leaks on the third floor. These leaks have not caused much damage yet.

“It may just be that a little patch can fix that,” he said. “If you look out from other floors after it rains you can see where the water just sits on the roof. Thankfully, all of the damages have just really been cosmetic at this point, but it can get worse quickly.”

Gautney said one of the sections of the skylights on the ground floor above the computer lab has a bad seal, and they are replacing it.

Senior Jarrod Vaughn said the roof should be a top priority.

“I go to the library when I need quiet,” he said. “We need our library. They need to look into a permanent fix. It probably costs more in the long run to keep doing these temporary patches that keep leaking than it would to just replace the roofs.”

Junior Jeanna Wade said she is concerned students may lose their study space because she believes that the roof could cave in if it continually patched.

“I know many people who think of the library as a second home because they stay there so much,” she said. “They have a quiet, devoted area to concentrate and study.”