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Library is still gathering dust


The library has been closed since 2016 when the roof collapsed

CLOSED: The Barkly West library is still not complete and has been closed since 2016. Picture: Soraya Crowie

DESPITE commitments from the contractor that the Inasee Harry Moshoeu Community Library in Barkly West would be completed and reopened this week, state departments have yet to provide a date as to when the library can open its doors.

The library has been closed since 2016 when the roof collapsed.

The outside paving and painting work is still being completed, although the contractor stated that the roof was now “secure and waterproof”.

Spokesperson for the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture Conrad Fortune said yesterday that the library was closed because of safety issues as a result of structural defects, which first needed to be fixed.

“The Department of Roads and Public Works appointed a structural engineering company to conduct an investigation and assess the roof leakages at the Inasee Harry Moshoeu Community Library,” said Fortune.

He explained that the work was delayed because of community disruptions at the beginning of the project.

“The contractor has been on site for nearly eight months. The protests also delayed the completion of the project as well as the re-installation of the new air conditioner and ventilation plant.”

Fortune said that the R1.7 million tender was awarded to, amongst others, investigate, repair and reinforce the water leakages through the roof and windows.

The work included the removal of the aluminium window frames, the removal of existing waterproofing and re-installation to the underside of the aluminium frames.

The beams and gutters were also reinforced while additional pipes were installed to allow for faster drainage of rain water to prevent the prolonged damming up of water on the concrete slab.

Fortune stated that the only outstanding item that needed to be completed was the replacement of the compressor for the air conditioner and maintenance of the air conditioning.

“Heating, ventilation and air conditioning make use of indoor and vehicular environmental comfort technology that provides thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality.”

He added that once all the renovations had been completed the building would be signed off for occupation by the various relevant authorities, after which the library would be reopened to the community of Barkly West.

Fortune indicated that none of the library books were damaged as a result of the leakages.

“Some of the books are being stored at the district library depot in Kimberley while the other books were relocated to the temporary library at the Mzansi Centre in De Beershoogte.”