NORWALK A burst water pipe at the Norwalk Main Library in January wrought nearly $10,000 in damages, according to the insurance claim recently submitted by the city.
Michael Sgobbo, property manager with Guardian Service Industries, Inc., the company that manages city buildings, indicated the claim would have been higher had Travelers Insurance not responded immediately to the accident that occurred Jan. 12 at the city-owned building at 1 Belden Ave.
The insurance company sent their restoration people over there very quickly, within hours, and they did the remediation. They took up the water and shampooed all the carpeting, Sgobbo said. With a rapid response like that you isolate and contain the damages quite quickly.
Under the insurance claim, the city is seeking $9,415 to cover the replacement of books, ceiling tiles and wallboard that was damaged by the water.
Sgobbo said Travelers would send out an independent adjuster to calculate the losses and damages. While the adjuster might debate some of the citys claims, Sgobbo expressed optimism that the city will be paid in full.
I think we should get a full reimbursement. I dont see why not, Sgobbo said. If anything, they may question us on the books.
On the morning of Jan. 12, a pipe carrying condenser water broke as a contractor replaced an HVAC unit on upper floor of the library. Water cascaded through several levels of the building, damaging books and closing the building the remainder of the day.
Although the library closed for patrons, staff remained and quickly relocated books and other materials away from the water, limiting damage.
We were lucky, Norwalk Public Library System Director Chris Bradley said Wednesday. We've replaced the books and the ceiling tiles.
Bradley initially estimated that several hundred large-print books might need to be replaced. While water entered the history room in the basement, books, photographs and other invaluable materials documenting Norwalks history were largely spared.
Staff credited Norwalk historian Ralph C. Bloom, who works in the history room, for having secured covered shelves that prevented water from falling directly onto the materials.
The history room is home to maps, microfilms, photographs, city directories and records going back to the late 18th century.