December 15, 2018

Library carpet flooded

Observer photo by Jason Starr
Mike Luce of G.W. Savage pulls up soaked carpet at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library on Monday.

… four days before
scheduled replacement

By Jason Starr

Observer staff

What a way for a carpet to go out, absorbing a flood that left roughly two thirds of the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library’s main floor under about an inch of water.

The flood occurred after a pipe froze and burst in the early morning hours Monday, four days before the carpet was scheduled to be replaced anyway.

Library staff closed the library Monday morning and called in G.W. Savage of South Burlington to remediate the situation. The library is tentatively scheduled to reopen next Wednesday.

The library had been planning to close Friday and reopen next Wednesday to replace the carpet. New carpet — similar to the existing carpet except with splashes of color that help lead patrons to various parts of the library — is chosen and ready to be installed.

“We already had plans for moving everything around and for storage, so we just had to implement that,” Library Director Marti Fiske said as a storage container arrived about midday Monday.

Mike Luce of G.W. Savage said the sub-zero temperatures last weekend caused a spate of burst pipes in homes, businesses and other institutions in the area.

Observer photo by Jason Starr The library will be closed until at least next Wednesday.

“We are running four crews nonstop,” he said. “It was brutal weather. When it’s 20 below, that’s when you find out if you’re missing insulation in some vital places.”

Normally, the company would dry flooded carpet and clean it to restore it for use. In this case, workers are pulling up the carpet and ensuring the underlying floor is dry enough to accept adhesive for the new carpet.

Fiske said the pipe that burst was installed during the building’s construction and intended for a courtyard fountain that was never built. In a wall panel, the pipe is labeled “future fountain – keep closed.”

“There is no courtyard fountain,” said Fiske.

Other than the carpet, the only part of the library’s main floor damaged in the flood is a small patch of wall in the youth computer lab. All books, furniture and computers are unharmed.

The basement was also flooded.

“The total of the damage appears limited, but the total extent will be unknown for a time,” Erik Wells, Williston’s assistant to the town manager, said in an email.

Library patrons are asked to keep any library materials until the library reopens. Fiske said library staff will post updates about the carpet replacement and reopening plans on the library’s website (, Facebook page and email newsletter.

“Thanks for everyone’s patience while we get this figured out,” she said.

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