(Riverton, Wyo.) – “The last thing you want in a library is water. It is devastating,” said Riverton Branch Library manager Gloria Brodle this morning. But that’s what they have, again, today. With the rain and snow in the past 24 hours, the leaking roof at the library began showering the staff below at computer stations and near collections.
Library staff responded by placing plastic tarps over the areas where the drips were coming down, and lined up storage boxes and garbage cans to catch the drips to keep the carpeting from being soaked.
“We’ve always had leaks in certain places in the building, but now they’ve migrated,” Brodle said.
The leakage and drainage problem has been a problem since day one of the library after it was constructed in 1984. The round skylight that used to cap the building was replaced with an angled light story in 2007 in hopes of solving the problem, but it did not.
“This is a big problem, more than just a leaking roof,” said the library’s maintenance director Tom Norwood. “It’s a drainage problem not only on the roof, but the drainage away from the building on site as well. Water is getting into the building and the structure is being compromised,” he said.
Several efforts have been made to find the source of the leak or leaks over the years. After the skylight was replaced, urethane spray foam and a sealer were applied to all the joints up top, but the roof continues to leak.
Most recently the library requested, and was granted, about $12,000 to hire an engineer and architect to do an initial assessment of the problem and where the fix should begin.
Until then, an umbrella might not be a bad accessory inside the library when it rains or snows.