It was a frozen pipe and subsequent flood that caused the Barney Library to be closed for maintenance indefinitely. The historic library on Main Street closed on Saturday and hopefully will reopen within a month, according to Library Executive Director Jay Johnston.
“We had an accident at the Barney where the water pipes had frozen and leaked and we had a flood,” Johnston said. “We’re remediating it right now …and when it reopens it will be better than ever.”
It was an accident, Johnston said, because the cause is still unknown, though contractors and insurance people have been to the library. Engineers will continue to look at the scene to determine what happened so any necessary systems or measures can be taken to prevent a recurrence.
What did not cause it was the building being too cold, Johnston said. The library, though not occupied every day, runs on an automated HVAC system so the heat is regulated to conserve energy but never turned off. In addition, the pipe burst occurred in the new, southern part of the building – completed in December 2010.
Though Johnston said he expects the remediation to take three to four weeks, he said the process won’t be rushed.
In the meantime, all Barney Library programs are being held at the main branch.
“People can certainly be confident they’ll still have the same high quality of service in the interim over there and we’re definitely excited to get this resolved and remediated as soon as we can,” Johnston said.
The flood was discovered Saturday morning when facilities manager Steve McMahon went into the Barney to get snow shovels.
“He’s the hero. It could have been a lot worse,” Johnston said.