The third floor of the UCCS Kraemer Family Library reopened this semester after being closed during the last academic year. With its reopening, the third floor is also undergoing roof repair. Construction began Sept. 1 and will continue through the semester to address leaks in the roof which have affected access to the main collection.
“It’s been going on for years, and the staff of the library has had to actively manage the leaks by walking around with buckets,” Dean of the Library Seth Porter said. “They’ve had to knock that [moisture buildup in the drop ceiling] down, clean up the mess, work with Facilities on that, and keep the collection covered.”
The main collection houses most of the library books, including research materials in all subjects. In certain areas, ceiling tiles show water damage and tarps lay over the tops of the stacks.
“It’s been an environmental issue, as well as just quite unsightly to have the collection covered when folks need to use it,” Porter said.
According to Porter, no books have been damaged by the leaks since he joined as dean in April. “It’s a minimal problem because of the proactive management by the access services team,” he said.
On the other hand, he said, “On a staffing level, we’ve had our staff have to walk through at scheduled times and knock out the drop ceiling to make sure it’s not a collection of moisture going to fall on a student or user, so that’s a safety hazard.
It’s potentially damaging to the collection, and three, it’s really difficult for users and students to actually be able to access the collection when the potential needed content is under a big old wet tarp.”
The leaks have been a problem in the library for longer than Porter has been at UCCS.
“From what I understand, the building was actually built in two phases, and so there’s a conjoining section and that kind of exacerbated the issue,” Porter said. “It’s been a long time coming to have it replaced.”
According to Porter, construction was originally planned to start in May. “Based on all the supply chain issues, everything was delayed by months,” he said.
Further delays may also be caused by weather. “That’s one of the main issues — specifically regarding roof construction, if there’s any kind of moisture,” Porter said. “Generally, they have that planned into the schedule, but you just never know. Now that we’re actually getting the product and the supplies, thankfully, it does seem to be moving forward as planned.”
The repair work is expected to be completed by mid-November.