GRANBY - The Granby Library faces building closures during a construction effort as the district seeks to remedy long-standing problems related to its fire-suppression system.
Construction started in the entrance area and meeting room of the building a week ago Monday, forcing library patrons to use the building's rear patio entrance. The library is closing for two days, Tuesday, Oct. 16 and Wednesday, Oct. 17, as workers install spray-foam insulation above the ceiling.
The library will then reopen, continuing public access at the building's rear entrance, until the end of October, at which time workers are scheduled to complete work in the front area of the building. They will then move to the main section of the building and the main library will be closed to the public, according to Grand County Library District Director Mary Anne Hanson-Wilcox. But the library will have a front annex opened to the public in the library's meeting room and vestibule. There, several library services will be available, such as story hour, after-school club, book services with new books from 2012, periodicals and newspapers, and book ordering from libraries throughout the state, as well as computer availability of eight public computers. The library will function this way until a full reopening around the first week of January.
Mold problem; allegations of building defects
Following two separate incidences of frozen pipes in February of 2011 and January of 2012, the library district discovered "condensation, water staining, rust and mold" in areas of the roof cavity in the building, which was built and completed in 2006.
From examination by A.G. Wassenaar, Inc., a geotechincial and environmental consultant firm out of Denver in February of 2012, the district determined the mold in the ceiling cavity of the Granby Library was "minor" and not a threat to the health and safety of staff or the public, according to Hanson-Wilcox. A March email sent to the director confirmed A.G. Wassenaar recommended temporary enclosure of the mold areas until they could be remediated, but did not recommend closing down the building.
"We would absolutely not have been open another minute if we thought there was concern for our public or our staff," Hanson-Wilcox said.
Fixing the building's problems, which includes remediation of the mold, new insulation, moving the fire-sprinkler system from the ceiling cavity to the interior of the building, as well as complete replacement of the ceiling tongue and groove, will run in the ballpark of $400,000, Hanson-Wilcox said.
In June, the library district filed a lawsuit in an effort to recoup costs, alleging the building's architect, builder, construction management firm and several subcontractors were at fault.
The 11-page complaint, amended in August, lists as defendants Boxwell Construction Company of Tabernash and Humphries Poli Architects of Denver, along with several subcontractors on the project.
It's the library's contention the design and subsequent construction of the building should have accounted for protection of the sprinkler system, Hanson-Wilcox said.
A phone call each to Boxwell Construction and Humphries Poli Architects on Monday were not immediately returned.
Attorney for the Grand County Library District Rich Newton said the district followed the process of the Colorado Construction Defect Action Reform Act by sending notices to the firms before citing them in the lawsuit, giving them a chance to submit offers to fix the problems, but received none from five out of six listed in the complaint.
Meanwhile, the lawsuit is pending while the district seeks mediation among the parties, per their contracts. "Hopefully we'll get it resolved through mediation," Newton said.