HURRICANE SANDY UPDATE: MAIN LIBRARY’S AIR QUALITY PASSES MUSTER
Re-Opens to the Public on Monday, 12/17
JERSEY CITY, N.J. December 11, 2012 – ‘There’s no place like home’.
That’s what Library Director Priscilla Gardner and all Jersey Avenue employees dispersed throughout the library system have been feeling ever since the Main Library was closed due to damages from Hurricane Sandy.
The Main Library sustained major flooding in its basement and opened only for one-and-a-half days before needing to remain closed due its poor air quality born of mold and E. coli contaminants. The basement areas were flooded with up to five feet of deep-sea water, mixed with sewerage from backed up sewers in Downtown Jersey City. All the basement spaces had to be cleaned and sanitized, with all plumbing and electrical systems repaired and all the building’s interiors on the upper floors cleaned with air scrubbers. This type of work is similar to Hazmat and other de-contamination procedures, with the contracting personnel needing to wear masks and body suits. Therefore, library staff and the public could not enter the Main Library until this environmental clean up was finished.
“Since that storm, my first, and only, priority has been to get the Main Library opened as soon as possible,” said Director Gardner. “To get this done before Christmas is a very special present to all Main Library staff and our ever-patient patrons.”
To accomplish such an expedited remediation, Library Director Priscilla Gardner continually met with Jersey City officials, including the Office of Emergency Management and Business
Administration, and set up RFPs (requests for proposals) for competitive bidding of contractors that were reviewed with the library’s Capital Improvement Manager Rudy Pleasant.
“I certainly didn’t do this alone!” added the Library Director. “There were efforts beyond the call of duty that several people did, which is why they are being singled out at this time.”
The people in question are: Helena Ruman, AIA, PE, architect that oversaw the remediation; library staff members Rudy Pleasant, capital improvements; Maintenance Supervisor Teresa Fairley and Assistant Supervisor Jason Hall; MIS Department; Sam Saulsberry; Library Administration and all JCFPL employees; and Public Information Officer Michele M. Dupey, MLIS; along with the contractors at CPR Restoration, who worked virtually around-the-clock to get the remediation done, with the air quality certified environmentally clean, at the Main Library.