Floor cracks on the second floor of the Silliman University Main Library caused by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Central Visayas last Oct. 17 remain unrepaired until now.
Prof. Lorna Yso, university librarian, said they have been waiting for nine months for the Building and Grounds (BG) to take action and fix those cracks.
BG supervisor, Engr. Edgar Ygnalaga, explained that they have postponed the reparation so as not to disrupt the convenience and safety of everyone who uses the library.
“If the cracks will be repaired this semester, students who use the library might be disturbed especially since the repair includes some major overhauls,” he said.
Ygnalaga also said the BG wants to take ‘‘sure and appropriate action’’ before they start the repair, which is why they are taking their time preparing for the structural design, the estimate cost, and the bidding process.
He said repairs will start by March next year.
Repairing the cracks
According to Ygnalaga, cracks are the result of construction joints done manually.
He explained that absence of bookshelves in that area of the library causes sensitivity to movements.
“Because of the construction joint, the second floor is more sensitive to movements especially since the circulation lobby, unlike other parts of the library, does not have bookshelves to put weight on the floor and counteract movement during earthquakes,” Ygnalaga added.
Temporary safety measures
Engr. Jose Tuballa, BG structural engineer, said the cracks are not dangerous. However, as a precautionary measure, the BG decided to temporarily barricade the area with chairs.
“The barriers we set are just temporary,” Ygnalaga clarified.
Library users have to pass through the cataloging section as an alternate route and the fire exit to get to the third floor.
Inconvenience to students
SU students hope that the cracks will be repaired sooner.
Arnikan T. Abueva, senior education student, said “For me, it’s a hassle to pass through the cataloging section to reach the third floor especially because I go to the library almost every day to do my thesis,” he said.
Meanwhile, BG is asking library users to bear with them until they complete the repair.
“We need more time to plan but we assure everyone that we will use stronger materials and start the construction as soon as we finalize everything,” Ygnalaga said.
The SU library was built in the 1970s.
By Leslie Batallones