NewsCovering Louisiana


Report: $2 million needed for wobbly Baton Rouge library

Posted at 10:20 AM, Sep 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-09 11:20:24-04

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – After concerns over stability halted construction of a Baton Rouge library back in April, a new report estimates it will cost almost another $2 million to steady the building.

Construction on the River Center Branch Library was halted after crucial supports that hold up the library’s upper floors failed. That prompted fears the building could collapse.

Local media report the new costs to address the structural issues were released Thursday in a report by the contractors.

The Advocate reports the repairs will be about 10 percent of the original cost of the library, which is $19 million.

Those costs include more than $500,000 to remove past work to create room for the repairs, more than $250,000 for welding and steel repairs and more than $200,000 for the hydraulic jacks temporarily holding up the library’s upper floors.

Repairs to address the structural issues will take about five months and the entire library construction could be finished by May of next year.

Library Director Spencer Watts told the newspaper he’s thankful the report addressed questions about the extent of the damage.

“We all wish that everything could proceed at a more speedy pace, but we certainly don’t want it to be done in any way that would compromise the assessment of the situation,” Watts said. “We wanted to make sure they came up with a really good solution, and it looks like they have.”

City officials have said the city will not pay for the repairs connected to reinforcing the structural design.

WBRZ reports that large red jacks are currently holding the building in place.

The River Center Branch Library is temporarily based at the Kress building. That lease expires early in 2019 but Watts said the lease includes a provision allowing it to extend for six months.

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