The Newport Beach City Council’s agenda for tonight’s meeting includes a consent calendar item that would fund $720,913 worth of waterproofing work to the Central Library.
“The Central Library has had a long history of water leakage issues along the clerestory wall,” according to the staff report. A waterproofing expert working on the Civic Center project believes the problems are a result of design and workmanship during construction of the building, which is nearly 20 years old.
The problems came to light during construction of the new Civic Center, which includes a 17,000 square-foot expansion of the library. During construction, crews removed parts of the existing library to tie into the new construction, the staff report says.
“During this process, it was discovered that the clerestory wall on the north face of the Central Library was improperly constructed and waterproofed,” the report says. “As such, there is a concern about rainwater leakage where the new addition joins the existing library. With the clerestory wall partially disassembled, staff requested a proposal to replace the existing clerestory wall and windows.”
A new window system and structure would closely match the original appearance. The staff report also said that the work should not be considered a Civic Center project expense and should be funded by the City’s Facilities Master Plan.
City Manager Dave Kiff explained the project in his “Insider’s Guide” email about the Tuesday meeting.
“One of the things discovered as the Civic Center project was underway – remember that the Civic Center project includes an expansion to the north side of the Library – was an answer to why that part of the Central Library had water intrusion problems,” he wrote. “A large portion of the clerestory wall on the north side was not installed properly nor waterproofed properly in 1993-94, and major portions of the wall need to be fully replaced. We will have the current Civic Center contractor fix the problem – an expensive one at about $700K.”
The Council meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall at 3300 Newport Blvd. The public may attend and make comments.
At the meeting, the Council also is expected to discuss the results of a traffic study at MacArthur Boulevard and East Coast Highway; read our earlier story about that agenda item here.