By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Town Hall continues to dry out after a massive water leak drenched a portion of the building’s interior during the early morning hours of Feb. 12.
The historic building has been closed since the incident and will remain closed until repairs are completed.
“I would expect repairs to take at least a month,” said Groveport Director of Facilities Management Tom Byrne on March 12 after city officials and insurance representatives examined the damage.
Byrne said the leak was in an air handler unit in the attic above the third floor.
“The unit supplies heat to the second floor,” said Byrne. “The reason for the leak was because of a control system malfunction that prevented a damper to close allowing cold outside air to pass across the coils, causing a break in the coil line.”
The resulting leak resulted in 1,159 gallons of water pouring through the interior of the rear portion of the 138-year-old building, which is located at 648 Main St.
The water damaged walls, ceilings, plaster, carpeting, floors, office equipment, lighting, holiday decorations, and office paperwork and materials on all three floors and in the basement in the rear portion of the building.
The front portions of the building and auditorium did not sustain damage. Also, the artifacts and archival items in the Groveport Heritage Museum, which is located on the first floor of the building, were not damaged.
“The damage was limited to the stairway lobbies on the second and third floors and office areas on the first floor,” said Byrne. “There was considerable damage to plaster and drywall ceilings, carpet and office furniture and equipment. There seems to be very little damage to electrical systems.”
Byrne said there will be extensive plaster repairs needed in areas on all three floors, carpet replacement and new office equipment and furniture will be required. He said about 75 percent of the office equipment, carpeting and office furniture in the city offices in the building must be replaced.
“There is also a small amount of asbestos that was found in some flooring tiles on the first floor,” said Byrne. “It’s expected to take two days for the abatement. No asbestos was found in the plaster. The repair work will begin after the asbestos is removed, hopefully sometime soon.”
Byrne said the total dollar amount of the damage is still unknown at this time.
“However, the insurance company said that the city should be fully compensated for the repairs,” said Byrne.
Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall has stated insurance is expected to cover the cost for most of the damage with the city only paying its $10,000 deductible.
While repairs are made, Community Affairs Director Linda Haley and the Town Hall staff have relocated to the library at KidSpace, 630 Wirt Road.
Haley said programs and events normally held at Town Hall are being shifted to other area facilities until repairs are completed. She said some events and programs had to be cancelled.
“We anticipated the building being closed through April and we contacted our class instructors and those with room reservations to give them adequate notice,” said Haley. “We’re still looking at our May programs and hoping we’ll be back in Town Hall by then.”
Town Hall is normally open seven days a week and is a site for art classes, general classes, art and other exhibitions, group meetings, concerts, plays, dancing, civic meetings, weddings, parties, baby and wedding showers, the Groveport Heritage Museum and more.
For information on programming, call (614) 836-3333.