Library new roof work planned for next week

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 13, 2008

It is the eternal duty of librarians to shush noisemakers whodisturb silent readers in the library, but the caretakers of theLincoln County Public Library won’t be able to quiet down theirnoisy guests walking and hammering on the roof next week.

The E. Cornell Malone Corp., a Jackson-based roofing company,will be raising cane on top of the library beginning early nextMonday morning, tearing off the leaky cover piece-by-piece andreplacing it with a new, $147,000 roof that will finally put a stopto the building’s constant problems with leakage.

“There are a few places where water is getting in, and we’lltake care of it,” said Malone Corp. Project Manager ChrisCriswell.

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Malone Corp., the same company that re-roofed historic LamptonAuditorium at the Mississippi School of the Arts and several otherBrookhaven structures, will rip off the library’s 1970s rubber roofand replace it with a two-ply, more than 200-millimeter thickmodified bitumen membrane roof, designed by Siplast of Irving,Texas.

The new roof comes with a 20-year warranty and an 800 numberthat the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors can call at any timeto report damage.

“It’s durable, and it will take the foot traffic and abuse formaintenance,” Criswell said, referring to the need for repairmen toaccess the library’s heating and cooling units housed on theroof.

Criswell said the approximately 100,000 square foot roof will beinstalled by phase construction – the workers will remove only whatcan be replaced in a day’s time. Phase construction will preventfurther leakage in the event of rain during the project.

The company plans to use a crew of 10-15 employees to do theentire job in approximately one week.

“It sounds like a big job, but it’s really not,” Criswellsaid.

Henry Ledet, director of the Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin RegionalLibrary system, said Malone Corp. plans to do most of the noisywork very early in the day, meaning afternoon visits to the library- when students are most often present – should be fairlypeaceful.

But as far as Ledet is concerned, the contractors can rip andhammer all day long.

“We are really, really happy,” he said. “We’re just going towear earplugs if we have to. The old roof was leaking like asieve.”

Though the library has been accumulating water damage formonths, Ledet said early September’s Hurricane Gustav had a”terrible” impact on the building. Water damage fried the elevator,he said, and also ruined ceiling tiles and carpet, requiring muchmopping and cleaning from the library staff.

Luckily, the library’s collection of books and local historicartifacts escaped undamaged.

“We didn’t lose anything from the collection, thank goodness,”Ledet said. “We were able to move everything out of the water. Theonly thing that got damaged was the building, which we couldn’tmove, of course.”

Construction on the roof was originally scheduled to starttoday, but Malone Corp. was forced to push the start date back oneweek, Ledet said.

“As long as we don’t get a whole lot of rain this week, we’reOK,” he said. “If we get a whole lot, we’ll just be moppingagain.”

When construction starts next week, Ledet said the library wouldfunction normally during the repairs, continuing to open at 9 always.

“We apologize in advance for any discomfort, but it’s going tobe a very short time and for a very good cause,” he said.