Bookstore reopens after roof blows off
University continues effort to clean debris across campus following windstorm
The University Bookstore partially reopened on Wednesday after Sunday’s windstorm blew the roof off the building and the university is still cleaning up roof debris.
Students can only enter a small portion of the store as a safety precaution during construction, according to Follett Corp. representive Bill Adamczyk. Adamczyk said the company that owns the bookstore, Follett Corp., plans to finish repairs in the coming days. Adamczyk could not provide the exact date the company will finish the repairs.
UB spokesperson John DellaContrada said UB is not financially responsible for bookstore repairs since the bookstore is independently owned. University Bookstore Manager Greg Neumann declined to provide the total cost of damages to the bookstore. UB Facilities is also cleaning post-storm debris across campus, according to UB spokesperson John DellaContrada. He said the total cost of the damages will be “less than $10,000,” but University Bookstore repairs are not included in the number.
The wind carried the roof debris to the Millersport Highway and the Oozefest mud pit. DellaContrada said the roof was “fairly new,” but he wasn’t sure what year the roof was installed. UB Facilities cleaned some of the debris around campus, according to DellaContrada, but some pieces of roof still remain in the Lake LaSalle area.
Neumann said in an email on Tuesday that employees of Follet Corp. were on-site to “further assess damage.” Neumann said a structural engineer is going to examine the roof.
Neumann is currently out of the country and left on Tuesday, according to Adamczyk.
DellaContrada said metal decking remained on the bookstore roof, but some parts of the bookstore’s interior were exposed. Bookstore employees moved the store’s inventory for protection and five skylights need to be replaced, DellaContrada said. The bookstore’s post office is still closed but is expected to open on Monday, according to a bookstore notice.
Rose Thomas, a junior public health major, said a trash bin lid “attacked” her and pieces of the bookstore roof flew in the air while walking to the Center for the Arts on Sunday.
“All I saw were these light-brown boards that were flying into Lake LaSalle,” Thomas said. “At first I thought those were just broken up cardboard boxes from The Commons by how easily they were flying around. But as I looked closer, they actually looked like wooden planks.”
The storm also broke windows in Richmond Quadrangle, Clemens Hall and a door in Jacobs Management Center. DellaContrada said UB Facilities put temporary plywood over the windows, with permanent repairs expected within the week.
DellaContrada said UB’s carpentry supervisor does not remember seeing such an intense windstorm or doors breaking before. UB Facilities “proactively” put signs on doors last week, to remind people to fully close them, according to DellaContrada.
The storm shattered three glass doors at UB.
Multiple trees around campus snapped or uprooted during the storm.
UB Facilities will continue removing the tree parts during its debris cleaning process across campus, according to DellaContrada.
Other campus areas affected include the University Tennis Center that had fencing and protective tarp damaged in the storm. The tarp was ripped, with the damaged pieces still remaining on the courts. Parts of the surrounding fence were damaged, with one area leaning heavily toward the courts. The wind damaged bleachers in the center, too.
Athletics spokesperson Brian Wolff said the department does not plan to use the courts this season.
“All in all, there was minimal damage to UB infrastructure,” DellaContrada said. “The university responded very well to the storm.”
Tanveen Vohra is a Co-senior News Editor and can be reached at Tanveen.firstname.lastname@example.org and @TanveenUBSpec. Thomas Zafonte is the senior features editor and can be reached at: email@example.com.