Olympic College Library Roof Collapse

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Olympic College Library Roof Collapse


In December 1996 a heavy snow storm caused the roof of the Olympic College Learning Resources Center building to collapse. Much of the Reference collection was destroyed. What could be salvaged was done in one day. A crane was brought in to lift and remove sections of the roof resting on portions of the shelving and as each section was removed, staff was allowed in to box as many items as possible. Books and journals that had fallen onto the floor were already soaked and staff had to walk on them to get to the salvageable items still on shelves. Meanwhile, the basement accumulated 1-2 feet of melting snow and rain when the drains backed up yet staff went down to remove as much of the media equipment as possible. Most of the artwork hanging on the walls in the library was saved. The process of recovering contents and condemning the portion of the collapsed building occurred within one week. Working with architects and letting the bid out (twice) for the rebuilding, and doing the rebuilding took three and a half years.

This collection includes a KOMO 4 Video News Broadcast by anchors Dan Lewis and Margo Meyers and reporter Keith Eldridge that covers the collapse. Donna Allen, Olympic College's then President, was interviewed.

Collection Items

Komo 4 News Broadcast of Olympic College Library Roof Collapse
Anchors Dan Lewis and Margo Meyers and reporter Keith Eldridge report on the collapse of the Olymipc College Learning Resource Center (Library) roof after the December, 1996 snow storm. Donna Allen, then President of Olympic College, was interviewed…

Looking toward the foyer. The center part of the "H" between the collapsed and surviving portions of the building was a lounge area

Collapsed roof from main entry
Collapsed roof taken from main entry of building

Inside entryway of Learning Resource Center. Library fabric sign salvaged. Collapsed roof and debris mostly untouched; Photo 2: Entryway looking up to collapsed area.

Library and Media Graphics staff in main entryway
Library and Media Graphics staff standing in entryway, in front of interior stairs going up to first floor. The building was built like a split level. Shown left to right are: Ray Quick, Media Graphics Technician, Donna Forbes, Library Technician,…

Ed Bachmann standing in interior entryway
Edward Bachmann, Media Services Faculty, pointing the way to the exit, standing in interior entryway. Edward found the exit sign on ground that used to hang above main doors. We blew this picture up to 8x10 and used it as our ""exit sign"" in the…

Judith Cunneen on interior entryway stairs
Judith Cunneen, Library Faculty, welcoming everyone to the Library -- claiming convertible roof! Judith is at the top of stairs in interior entryway pointing to the now open air first floor.

Entryway landing
Entryway landing looking up stairway into library. Shown is Ray Quick, Media Technician, Donna Forbes, Library Technician, Edward Bachmann, Media Faculty, Judith Cunneen, Library Faculty, and in the foreground, Cara Joy Corkill Lunsford, Media File…

Entryway stairwell
Photo 1: Entryway stairwell showing wall display case; Photos 2&3: Entryway stairwell looking up to library. The fabric sign that says library in several languages was rescued and is now on the second floor of the Haselwood Library building.

Inside entryway
Inside entryway. Library foyer
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