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Leak forces expensive repairs again

Ron Nelson of Gemkow Construction moves book shelves back into place against a rebuilt wall at the Langley Library. A leaky roof forced the city to repair the library
Ron Nelson of Gemkow Construction moves book shelves back into place against a rebuilt wall at the Langley Library. A leaky roof forced the city to repair the library's roof over the past two weeks.
— image credit: Matt Johnson

During the past two weeks, the Langley Public Library has been getting repairs to fix a pesky problem.

City of Langley will pay up to $22,000 for the work, which was done to repair a leaky section of roof. That roof, which is the only flat section on the small, Second Street building, has been a problem ever since the library was remodeled in 1993.

Langley Mayor Lloyd Furman said this is the second time the city has repaired the roof since contractor Jenkins Construction did the original work nine years ago. This time around, he said, the city has done as complete a repair job as is possible considering the roof's design.

"The basic design is not good," Furman said.

The leak did only a small amount of damage to books on library shelves, but required the contractor doing the repair, Gemkow Construction, to replace wallboard, some structural elements and roofing. The company also installed larger roof scuppers, to allow faster water drainage.

Furman said library staff caught the leak early when they noticed water stains on ceiling panels. That may have cut down on the amount of water damage, said city public works director Rick Hill. He said Gemkow employees doing repair work found less damage than city officials expected.

The city last did repair work on the same section of roof -- which is built over a curved section of wall facing the Saratoga Passage -- about four years ago. Both Furman and Gemkow Construction owner Ed Gemkow said they do not expect the roof will need any more repairs in the near future.

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