Library board works to shut out ground water

There’s a fund that’s ear-marked for renovations for Virden’s well-used library, but an up-do for the building can’t happen just yet because a very basic problem must be put right first.

“It’s time the library had a bit of a face-lift from the bottom up,” says Mark Humphries, the RM of Wallace-Woodworth rep on the board.

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He’s optimistic about the Border Regional Library’s place in the community. Seeing a growth use which includes the computer stations, and with a new young staff recently hired, it’s time to get the building ship-shape. “We were really healthy with the youth engagement,” and he says the board wants to “encourage that to grow ever farther.”

Sealing ground water out of Virden’s Border Regional Library basement is the issue and it seems to be a slippery problem.

The battle with the water in the basement has been going on for some years. The firm decision by the volunteer board to solve it came about 14 months ago.

It appears to be a multi-pronged problem. The gutter of the two buildings, the library and the insurance building next door, have been re-done. Humphries said it was 90 per cent better after that, but water was still finding its way into the building.

Since re-guttering the buildings didn’t completely solve it, the parking lot behind the building was also to be re-graded to run the water away from the building.

Cory Nixon, Virden’s building inspector said, “We have temporarily graded the parking lot to ensure drainage. It appears to work so it will be finished up this fall.”

With gyprock and insulation torn off the basement’s interior, they found the utility lines into the building were not well sealed.

“We are currently consulting with contractors to determine an appropriate way of ensuring the exterior is damp proofed. Once we ensure the exterior issues are sealed, we will then repair the interior basement walls,” said Nixon.

When everything that can be done has been done, a big rain or spring melt, will be the test. Until it passes the test, the basement renovation cannot be completed and the upper story work won’t start.

Meanwhile, upstairs, the library continues to be the place to find a new book to read, while the computers hum with activity.

© Virden Empire-Advance