Monday, March 7, 2016

Fairhope Library Roof Leaks Worsening

Fairhope, Alabama

School Street


peeling stucco
According to the discussion at a recent work session, city building officer Lance Cabanis and other construction experts have determined that most of  the chronic roof-leak issues at the library are being caused by stucco peeling off of structures on the roof of the nine year old building -- possibly due to improper design or installation -- and repair costs could top $100K (a preliminary estimate was $200K).

Apparently, the leaks have caused "structural issues" in the walls and ceilings, according to superintendent James Gillespie.

west side ground level
When asked by a Times reporter exactly where the roof's leaking inside, librarians replied "where is it not leaking."

Buckets and plastic sheets have to be used to protect books and equipment during rainstorms.

They say leaks have been a problem since the building opened in 2007.


computer covered from leak
The peeling -- mostly out of sight from ground level --  is allowing rainwater to seep in behind the stucco and down into the building.

Some peeling is visible on the building's east side wall (School Street); and is also found in places at ground level on the west side.

The proper barrier between layers of the stucco used for shaping forms was not installed, according to one inspector.

Ponding on areas with flat roofing is also a leak-issue, according to mayor Kant.

Councilman Burrell asked if an elastomeric coating had ever been applied to protect the stucco and was told it had not.

The possibility of holding the original local architect and building contractors responsible for the cost of some of the repairs was discussed; the mayor and city attorney were to approach them about it and report back.

The architect had already been asked about it once by mail, with no reply.

The city's own insurance carrier was to be contacted as well.

east side ceiling


Anonymous said...

Any reason why experts have not been retained to tell the city whose fault this is? Meanwhile each rain storm brings more damage. This should have been done when the problem was first reported/noticed.

Publisher said...

Two local unidentified contractors accompanied the Fairhope official who made these observations-- unofficially.

Anonymous said...

The problem is worsening with each rain event. I believe the Fairhope official needs to start pointing fingers fast so the general contractor, subcontractors, suppliers and applicators of all of the construction components can get together and FIX the problem.

Anonymous said...

Any large construction project and even some small ones should have a Project Manager working for whoever is footing the bill to oversee all aspects of the project on a daily basis, not just an occasional walkthrough. It is surprising to me how many sub-contractors not only don’t follow code but don’t even know the code. Now retired and having overseen many projects for large corporations I could write a book on the battles I’ve had (and won) getting the work performed correctly and per the design specifications. It seems on many a project Fairhope is just writing checks. A good Project Manager could save Fairhope a lot of time and money.

Anonymous said...


How did this debacle pass a building inspection?

Anonymous said...

Roof has leaked for the entire 9 years the library has open, but still no fix.... Contractor, roofer and architects too politically connected to be held accountable $8 million building left to rot and ruin. Stucco issues, roof issues, mold issues

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the architect Walcott Adams? Is their relationship with the city becoming an issue?

Anonymous said...

some people here are untouchables .... can do no wrong.