Building inspectors have determined that the River Center Branch Library is suffering structural issues due to massive amounts of scrutiny that have been heaped upon it, according to city-parish authorities.
Engineers told the city-parish that “the unexpected and unreasonable amount of criticism dumped on the building caused it to suffer multiple structural failures,” city spokeswoman Rachel Harvey wrote in an email this week. Harvey cited the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report as a major contributor to the stresses experienced by the building.
City-parish officials report that inspectors expect more problems to arise if the structure’s overwhelming burden of being constantly second-guessed isn’t soon alleviated.
“No one ever envisioned the library needing to shoulder the load of that much persistent criticism. It simply can’t withstand it.”
“When you have that many people spending that much time looking for faults in something — anything, really — you’re going to find some. And the more you look, the more you’ll find,” Chief Administrative Officer Darryl Gissel explained. “No one ever envisioned the library needing to shoulder the load of that much persistent criticism. It simply can’t withstand it.”
The findings come after work crews halted construction of the new downtown library upon discovering problems with welding on steel cantilever beams supporting the building’s massive overhang that projects out toward North Boulevard. During further examination of the welding, inspectors found other problems with the structure’s soundness, which engineers say could be mitigated with the public’s cooperation.
“Everybody just needs to quit talking bad about the library!” Parish Library Director Spencer Watts said. “It wasn’t designed to handle the weight of that much second-guessing.”