Mayor Sharon Weston-Broome released the following statement on the latest developments for repairs at the River Center Branch Library:
There are two parties involved in the construction of the River Center Branch Library. WHLC Architecture – Schwartz/Silver, a joint venture, is the architect of record tasked with the design and construction administration, and Buquet & LeBlanc is the contractor charged with building the structure. Both companies are bonded and insured as a condition of their contracts with the City-Parish.
The contractor issued a letter on April 23, 2018 citing a structural design deficiency as the cause of the incident. The City-Parish has been in constant contact with the architectural design team and is awaiting their initial report which will outline the cause of the incident and any corrective measures that need to be taken. At this time, we cannot speculate as to the cause of the failure or the costs or time delays that could be incurred. Once we have the opportunity to review the design team’s report tomorrow afternoon, we will provide an update on the situation. Any deficiencies or issues would fall on the parties responsible as defined by their contracts. It should be clarified that the City-Parish does not take ownership of the building until it is completed and accepted. Our role at this time is to ensure public safety and to protect the taxpayers’ investments.”
Starting on Wednesday, April 25, there will be more street closures surrounding the River Center Branch Library construction site.
The Mayor’s Office said the closed area around the construction site was enlarged because large equipment is needed to finish work on the building.
According to Rachel Haney, Chief Communications Officer for the Mayor’s Office, the closed area will include North Boulevard Town Square and the Galvez Plaza Stage.
Haney said starting tomorrow, “St. Louis Street at its intersection with North Boulevard will close. The City-Parish will temporarily make St. Louis Street between Government Street and City Hall a two-way street.”
Despite the street closures, the Mayor’s Office said City Hall, the 19th Judicial District Courthouse and surrounding businesses will remain open on North Boulevard.