Parts of Lincolnshire library still closed to public due to water damage

  • A burst pipe Feb. 1 forced the closure of bathrooms and a meeting room inside Lincolnshire's Vernon Area Public Library. The damage is being repaired.

    A burst pipe Feb. 1 forced the closure of bathrooms and a meeting room inside Lincolnshire's Vernon Area Public Library. The damage is being repaired. Courtesy of Vernon Area Public Library

  • A burst pipe during this month's record-breaking cold forced the closure of bathrooms and a meeting room inside Lincolnshire's Vernon Area Public Library. The damage is being repaired.

    A burst pipe during this month's record-breaking cold forced the closure of bathrooms and a meeting room inside Lincolnshire's Vernon Area Public Library. The damage is being repaired. Courtesy of Vernon Area Public Library

  • A water leak inside the Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire damaged bathrooms and a meeting room.

      A water leak inside the Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire damaged bathrooms and a meeting room. Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 2/18/2019 12:29 PM

Weeks after water pipes burst near the lobby of Lincolnshire's Vernon Area Public Library, visitors still are being greeted by construction sheeting, portable partitions and yellow safety tape.

The lobby, the main women's bathroom and a large meeting room inside the library, 300 Olde Half Day Road, were damaged by the Feb. 1 leak in the fire sprinkler system, which followed record-setting cold weather. No books or materials were damaged.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The pipes were fixed, but walls must be repaired and painted, carpet must be cleaned and lights need to be repaired, library spokeswoman Catherine Savage said. Other work may be needed, too.

Repairs will take another two or three weeks to complete, Savage said. A cost estimate wasn't immediately available, but insurance will cover it, she said.

The leaks initially forced the library's closure for two days. Since reopening, the meeting room -- usually the site of movie screenings, programs for children and other activities -- and the men's and women's bathrooms have been closed off.

Patrons needing bathrooms are directed to small, gender-neutral facilities in the youth department and in a staff hallway.

As for programs scheduled for the meeting room, most have been moved to the annex building behind the library. Others were held elsewhere in the main building.

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"There were some cases where the program was small enough to move to the youth program room or the second-floor conference room," Savage said. "'Baby Rhyme Storytime' was moved to out in the open in the youth department rather than to another room."

One program, a foreign policy discussion group scheduled for Wednesday, will be relocated to the College of Lake County's Southlake Campus in nearby Vernon Hills because more space is needed than the library can provide.

Some room reservations by outside groups have been canceled, including those that needed the piano in the meeting room, Savage said.

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