June 19, 2024

Spring break proved to have literal meaning for California Baptist University’s oldest building, as a water pipe burst in the 92-year-old Annie Gabriel Library.

An estimated 150 books were damaged early March 19 as a broken water pipe in the ceiling drained onto a bookshelf on the second floor.

“Sometime between closing the night before and 3 a.m. is when the leak happened,” said Keri Murcray, library services assistant. “When I came in that morning, I saw the fans that were on downstairs and the water damage on the floor.”

The items that were affected by the leak were all art books. The saturated books were initially placed in a room with a humidifier in hopes to save the books.

“We spent about 40 minutes going through that shelf setting aside the water-damaged books from the dry ones,” Murcray said. “You could see the water stains on the carpet.”

The leaking pipe was found by housekeeping employee Fatima Gonzalez when she started her 3 a.m. shift. As soon as Gonzalez saw the water leaking, she reported it.

No word has been given on the total financial damage that was caused, or if there is any reason to suspect further leaks but for now the leak has been temporarily repaired.

“The leak was repaired by facilities,” said Robert Diaz, access services manager. “I am happy to report that other than a few books that were damaged, there does not appear to be any sort of structural damage and everything seems to be back to normal.”

Jennifer Smith, senior psychology major, has used the library on many occasions during her time at CBU. Smith said she felt the incident was unfortunate; however, she does shed positive light on the situation.

“Even though the pipe leak in the library was inconvenient, I think it’s things like that (which) add character to the old buildings around campus,” Smith said.

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