Drainpipe still leaking at King's library

The leaks can cause water damage to the books, but they can also be a safety hazard for students who happen to be browsing the aisles.

King’s philosophy student Morgan Oliver reads a book at the King’s library. (Photo: Zeina Jreige)

Library (n): a clean, quiet space to study, read and collect your thoughts.
But finding a dry space to work at the University of King’s College library has proven to be a little more difficult recently.
The problem
There’s been an ongoing drainpipe leak in the university’s library. It soaked an acoustic tile to the point where it fell out of the ceiling grid.
The leaks can cause water damage to the books, but they can also be a safety hazard for students who happen to be browsing the aisles.
“Studying alone is a buzz kill. Not to mention being worried about a piece of tile falling on your (head),” said Morgan Oliver, a philosophy student at King’s.
Other visitors to the library have recently spotted several leaking areas from the lower level’s ceiling.
Students are concerned because the library hosts tens of thousands of books, including rare, hard copy texts that can’t be replaced.
The cause
Alex Doyle, director of facilities at King’s College, said the maintenance staff has been monitoring those areas for months. They noticed the leaks a while back and have been doing everything they can to get things back to normal.
Doyle said each pipeline was looked after almost immediately.
Tasya Tymczyszyn, interim librarian at the King’s library, said she’s aware of what she calls minor ceiling issues and is confident facilities staff will “address this situation in a timely fashion.”
However, repairs are visibly unfinished. Some parts of the ceiling are missing, which exposes the books on shelves.
In November 2009, the upstairs reading room within the library experienced a similar problem. This past February, there was leakage in the staff area of the library due to snowfall – and the spot still drips when there’s heavy rain.
The drainpipe leak has damaged the ceiling at the King’s library. (Photo: Zeina Jreige)

What is the solution?
The director of facilities says these are problems of the past. “They are old leaks,” said Doyle, “and the drywall will be repaired before the holiday break.”
However, Oliver says the university should be more attentive to the study space.
“As a student I feel like we pay so much to study and to use (the school’s) stuff, that they should be taking preservative measures to keep the (books) we have safe. If the roof is leaking that’s one thing. But when it’s actually falling and putting students and faculty members at risk, it takes it to another level,” said Oliver.
As for water damage, Doyle says the facility conducted an inspection just last week and no new leaks have been reported.
He says library property is not at stake. “We always work with library staff to ensure every precaution is taken,” said Doyle.
As of right now, no books have been harmed. But, if the leaks continue it’s only a matter of time.

By David J. Shuman

David is the current editor-in-chief of The Watch and writes on student issues and events. Find him on Twitter: @DavidJShuman

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