October 21, 2014

Medina
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Library officials plan to sue over Lodi structural problems

Lodi Library management closed about a third of the building in November 2011 because the roof was structurally unsound. (NICK GLUNT / GAZETTE)

LODI — Lodi Library officials plan to file a lawsuit over the roof of the building, which has been closed more than a year because of structural problems.

“We needed to have some inspections done to confirm the problem,” spokeswoman Heather Coontz said. “The problem is the result of defective design, materials and installation.”

Coontz said the companies involved in the building’s construction are to blame, and the primary issue is that the timber beams in the roof are not structurally sound.

She declined to name the companies until the library formally files suit.

Sharon Township-based Ruhlin Co. managed the construction of the building and the architect was David Milling and Associates of Ann Arbor, Mich.

The library, 625 Wooster St., is one of six branches of the Medina County District Library.

It was built in 2005 and opened in February 2006. It cost $3 million in taxpayer money.

In November 2011, the library closed off a third of the building because of the roof. Books, DVDs and computers are housed in two smaller rooms where the roof isn’t a problem, so the library is still at least partly functional, Coontz said.

She said no one is allowed in the section where the roof is a problem.

“It’s completely off limits,” she said. “We’ve even asked our staff not to go in there.”

The library board is going over proposals from various engineering companies to repair the roof. Coontz said the board should make a decision at its 6 p.m. Feb. 18 meeting at the Medina Library, 210 S. Broadway St.

She said she didn’t know what the repairs would cost, but the money the library board hopes to win from the suit should cover it.

The project should begin in the summer and won’t be complete until spring 2014, she said.

Until everything is complete, Coontz asked the community to remain patient.

“The goal is to return the Lodi branch to the community” and make it a center of activity, Coontz said.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.