Students, administrators dealing with water issues at LSU’s Middleton Library

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Published: Feb. 4, 2019 at 11:15 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Students at LSU say there’s something lurking in the basement of the school’s main library that’s threatening the resources they need. Water is leaking in, and that could spell trouble for decades worth of documents and books.

Tucked between the microfiche and shelves that contain government documents are just a few things that don’t belong.

“Back in early November, it really sort of exacerbated to the point where it wasn’t just a little bit of intrusion,” said Roger Husser, assistant vice president for planning, design, and construction at LSU.

It’s easy to see and comes as no surprise. Water is slowly, but steadily leaking into a portion of the basement at Middleton Library. Right now, puddles stand where books and students should.

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“Our facility services, our maintenance group have had to mop the water continuously, de-humidify the space,” Husser added.

“It’s home to a lot of good government documents, so for me being a political science major, it’s a really good resource,” said Miranda Campbell, an LSU student.

To prevent damage, specialized government related materials have either been moved upstairs or boxed up away from the water. Although the slight flooding hasn’t shut down the entire basement for studies, it has some students concerned.

“We kind of want to make the university’s administration make this a priority. We need them to say this is the academic center of their campus. We have to invest in it. We have to make sure we’re accommodating all students,” Campbell said.

Leaders of the university say they’ve been working to fix the problem for some time now. At one point, they even injected a compound into the seam of the wall. That didn’t work, so they’ve moved on to another solution.

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“The water is trickling in at the base of the wall in different places. We’re going to isolate it along this section where we’re having the immediate issues,” said Husser. “Our plan is to build another wall inside of that and manage the issue behind that wall, which would then allow us to reoccupy the space where I’m standing and control it.”

Work should start within the next week or two. For now, students are coping with the slight inconvenience and hoping for a positive outcome.

“I care about this place, not just LSU, but Louisiana and if we want people to stay here and make this place better. If we want to stop being 49th and 50th on every list, we have to invest in students because we’re the only people who can make the future of the state better and that starts at the flagship university,” Campbell said.

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