Friday, March 25, 2016
How Safe Is Loussac During Construction?
I voted at Loussac Library Wednesday. Here's the atrium with the original steps removed. The whole atrium is blocked off. (From the Alaska Collection silo.)
This next shot shows the wall that's been created to block off the atrium from the inside on the second and third floors.
The library was packed Wednesday, even though it was sunny and nice out.
But there was only one working elevator. When I was ready to go, the first time the 3rd elevator door opened, it was too full to get in. (Well, I suspect New Yorkers would have been able to squeeze in, but Alaskans like a little more personal space) You can see people waiting for the elevator on the right.
There is a big staircase from the second to third floor, except it's in the atrium area that is currently blocked off. So you can't walk from the second to the third floor. You have to take the elevator. And passage ways are much narrower than normal. With the entrance and checkout on the ground floor, it's disorienting.
While I was waiting for an elevator, I asked a librarian whether there were stairs. She pointed to the far corner and said there are emergency stairs, but an alarm will go off if you take them. I pointed out that there weren't any obvious signs leading people to the exit stairs. "We've mentioned that at staff meetings," I was told.
I suspect that the fire marshals assumed there would be two working elevators, but even then, it seems to me that the lack of stairs between the second and third floor is a serious problem. At the very least, they could open the emergency stairs between those two floors so people who'd rather walk, could do that. People around me didn't know if there were stairs from the first to the second floor either. (The steps and elevator in the old entrance are obviously - from the top picture - gone now.)
Here's a before and after picture of the steps from February 4 and today.
(Careful readers will note that I said it was a nice sunny day today. There were clouds and this picture was taken while a cloud blocked the sun.)