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Concrete problem forces Glenwood library carpet fix, partial closure in April

A car pulls into the underground parking garage beneath the shared Glenwood Springs Library and Colorado Mountain College building at Eighth and Cooper. Moisture in the concrete slab between the parking area and the main floor has caused the carpet in the main-floor library to deteriorate prematurely. The library building opened in September 2013.
John Stroud/Post Independent |

Another problem involving the concrete slab between the Glenwood Springs Library and an underground parking garage that’s shared with Colorado Mountain College will put the library mostly out of commission in April.

According to Garfield County Public Library District Director Amelia Shelley, moisture levels in the concrete have thrown the pH balance off, causing the vinyl backing on the carpet in the main-floor library to deteriorate and cause a foul odor.

“For some reason, the pH has changed over time, and we don’t know why,” Shelley said.

Core samples of the concrete slab are being taken to try to pinpoint the problem, she said. That process will continue Monday, when there will be some disruption and noise, though the library will remain open, she said.

Ultimately, the existing carpet in the 18-month-old facility will have to be removed and a vapor barrier put down before new carpet can be installed, Shelley said. The process is tentatively planned for about three or four weeks in April.

Last fall, the library had to close off the outdoor plaza area on the south side of the building in order to sandblast the waterproofing layer from the surface because it had become a slipping hazard.

The waterproofing had been added when the facility was built to prevent surface water from seeping through the concrete slab into the parking garage.

The same moisture problem detected recently could also be the source of water drips in parts of the parking area that is used by CMC employees during the day and is open to the public after hours and on weekends.

“We are experiencing several drips in our parking garage, and we’re working with the library’s team to see if there are solutions to our drips as well as to their moisture problem,” CMC spokeswoman Debbie Crawford said. “We don’t know if they’re related.”

Sections of the parking area will be blocked off Monday morning while the core samples are being taken, she said.

“Our employees at Central Services are aware that this work will be going on, and we expect the impacts to us will be minimal,” Crawford said.

Shelley said the work is not costing the library district, because it falls under the seven-year statute of limitations for construction defects. Already, the carpet manufacturer has agreed to supply $80,000 in new carpeting. In total, the carpet replacement and work to try to determine the problem will cost around $250,000.

Until the problem is pinpointed, it’s not known what aspect of the construction may have been faulty, she said.

The plan is to replace the carpet in the community room first, and during the April closure of the main library some services will still be available in the community room area, Shelley said.

“We will try to keep computer access and will have a very small browsing collection, whatever we can stage out of that room,” she said.

Some of the regular programs, such as children’s time, will need to be moved to other facilities, including the Masonic Lodge on Colorado Avenue, she said.


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