Grambling receives $2.8 million for library project

 After receiving $2.8 million through the state of Louisiana’s Capital Outlay, construction has been underway in the abandoned basement inside the A.C. Lewis Memorial Library Annex. 

onstruction first began in June to fix a water intrusion that caused the basement to flood after a failure of the French drain system. According to Ray Dudley; the basement has been abandoned for quite some time.

udley said he has been asking for funds for five years and has knowledge of former President Hudson doing the same during his term. 

 n an e-mail to the The Gramblinite, the director of facilities management at Grambling State University said the state allocated these funds to resolve certain issues, including more information on the construction phases involved to complete the overall project.

 ”These funds were appropriated by the state to first fix the continual water leaking in the basement of the library annex,” Dudley said in his e-mail. “The project consists of waterproofing both the outside and inside of the basement.”

nother phase, which is has been completed, was the digging needed on the outside adjacent to College Avenue. Since it was finished prior to recent heavy rain, construction has not delayed from the inclement weather. Instead, it has been beneficial according to Dudley. 

 e said the recent rain showers have compacted the soil.  It is projected that the work will be done by the end of December.

ther phases include, an irrigation system, contractors installing a side walk on the north side of the library to meet the needs of people with disabilities, and sodding where the ground was excavated outside.  

odding is when one covers the ground with sod, a layer of grass and soil that is combined together by the roots. This process is faster and more time efficient for the timeline than waiting for seeds to germinate and for the grass to grow. Dudley then said this will be one of the final steps for construction.

 ”As a final step, sod and a irrigation system will be installed on the bare ground to help with the site.”

ome students on campus did not know that the A.C. Lewis Library had a basement, let alone a flooded basement.

 ”I didn’t know there was a basement in the library,” said Breanna Dyson, is a marketing major.  “I thought that they were finally renovating the library.”

hough the state funded $2.8 million for this project, the current projected cost is around $1.2 million.

ccording to Cecilia Iwala, interim director of library services, the basement was first abandoned between late 2002 and early 2003. 

 ”The issues with the basement first began occurring in 2002,” said Iwala. “At this time, the future use of the basement has not been determined.”