Library leak: Issues ongoing at North Dartmouth branch

Feb 10, 2021

Water is still seeping into the basement of the beleaguered North Dartmouth library branch, according to officials.

The newly built $10.5 million library was beset by a variety of construction issues leading up to its delayed opening last January, including a leak in the basement.

And just a month and a half after it opened, the library closed its doors to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since then, officials said at a Board of Library Trustees meeting on Feb. 9, another leak has been found in the basement.

“There was a little water getting in from a different direction this time,” stated Director of Libraries Lynne Antunes before the meeting.

Antunes said that although the contractor believes the water comes from a high water table issue, one of the building committee members believes it’s due to improper grading. 

“So that will have to be addressed,” she said.

A few minor issues have also cropped up, including replacing ground-mounted lights that were damaged when the grass was cut, and lights still to be installed for the building’s new sign.

Other punch list items include a water heater that needed to be replaced, and part of a bubbler. “It’s little stuff,” Antunes said.

“The building committee hasn’t met for several weeks because we're just waiting for the general contractor to address some issues,” she added.

But it’s not all bad news. The Electric Vehicle charging station in the parking lot is up and running with two hookups, and the solar panels are working, according to Antunes.

“We have very low energy bills for that building,” she noted.

The Finance Committee brought up the water issue at a meeting on Feb. 4, along with the other punch-list items still awaiting resolution.

“As a Finance Committee member I am very concerned about the cost of that building and the fact that these problems have existed,” noted committee chair Teresa Hamm.

“In my opinion, we should not be paying that contractor in full until those problems are resolved,” she added. “They’ve been working on this forever!”

“I want to echo concerns with that,” agreed committee vice chair Gloria Bancroft. “This water issue can lead to future concerns regarding mold.”

“This is something I feel the town really needs to wrap its hands around,” she added.