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Opinion

Lodi Library fixes coming

2/14/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

As this community is aware, the Lodi Branch of the Medina County District Library has been closed for over a year. The closing occurred after a professional engineer retained by the Library Board and the local building department both inspected the building and recommended closing a majority of the structure for public use. The recommendation was made due to concerns with the structural soundness of the building.

Since that time, the Library Board has diligently pursued a remedy to the problem by retaining both engineers and architects to inspect the building in great detail in order to determine the cause and extent of the issue, and to develop an engineering solution that can be implemented to address the problem. It has been a lengthy, involved and difficult process. But at this point, the Library Board believes that the scope of the problem has been defined and sufficient information is available to move forward with developing the engineering solution.

Unfortunately, the problem is extensive and involves over one-third of the building. The basic problem is that the timber beams in the main clerestory of the building are not structurally sound. The engineering solution will take time to design in sufficient detail so that it can be implemented correctly.

The Library Board also recognizes and shares the community’s serious questions about how the problem arose and who is responsible. Investigating the situation with qualified professionals has helped the Library Board learn more about the problem and how it occurred. The problem is the result of defective design, materials and installation. Responsibility for these defects lies with many companies involved with the project, but the Library Board is not responsible. The Library Board has retained legal counsel to pursue those responsible for the defects to recover the expenses incurred to make the necessary repairs to the building. The recovery may be a lengthy legal one, but the Library Board is committed to proceeding with the repair work now while the pursuit of reimbursement for the related costs winds its way through the legal system. This will allow the Lodi Branch to re-open for use as quickly as possible.

The Library Board appreciates the understanding and patience of the community while it works to correct this unfortunate circumstance and to pursue reimbursement for the related expenses.

Heather Coontz, community relations manager, Medina County District Library

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