The main entrance to Leavey Library is currently closed as construction work is taking place underneath the entrance to waterproof Leavey’s basement.
After leaks in the basement occurred, USC Facilities Management Services decided to invest in replacing the existing underground waterproofing system.
“This is a maintenance project intended to replace the waterproofing membrane to stop leaks to the basement below and improve the paving leveling system above the membrane,” wrote Joe Back, associate senior vice president for campus development and facilities management, in an e-mail.
The replacement of the waterproofing system requires the removal of the stone slabs outside the main entrance. These slabs will be reinstalled before the project is completed, and they will appear the same as before, said Hugh McHarg, executive director of communications and public programming at USC Libraries. The waterproofing that is currently being done should last for 10 to 15 years, he said.
Construction fencing has been put up around the work, which forced the closure of Leavey’s main entrance. Instead, the library has opened a side entrance on the west side of the building.
Although the leakage in the library’s basement is not major, FMS wanted to fix it in order to preserve the quality of the building, McHarg said.
“There’s just one room that’s currently used as a storage room downstairs that had some leak issues when it rains, but otherwise [the leaks don’t] really affect the collections or any of the areas where students gather,” he said.
Leavey’s hours of operation and services will not be affected by the construction.
“There’s nothing that’s closed off [in Leavey Library]. All the collections are available; all the services are available. The only issue is having to close the front entrance,” McHarg said.
The project began on Oct. 11 and is expected to be completed shortly after Thanksgiving.
“We have set a finish date of Nov. 29,” Back said. The library entrance, however, is expected to open by Nov. 20, McHarg said.
Funding for the project is coming from FMS operating funds.
During construction, students must use the side entrance to Leavey Library, said Stephen Metzger, a freshman majoring in business administration (cinematic arts).
“[Though] it’s a little bit of an inconvenience, nearly every student on campus uses Leavey in some form or another and any improvements are welcome.” Metzger said.