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Soap dispenser falls on faucet, floods Elsie Allen High School library

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The Elsie Allen High School library, which closed in August after it flooded when a fallen soap dispenser inadvertently turned on a water faucet that ran over a weekend, will soon undergo repairs.

The Santa Rosa school board this past Wednesday approved a $1 million contract with Bridges Construction to begin the renovation project, which could take three months to complete. The library requires a new ceiling, flooring, cabinets, countertops and walls, as well as electrical repairs, a new heating, ventilating, and air conditioning unit and plumbing for its bathrooms.

The cost will almost entirely be shouldered by insurance, with the district paying the deductible of $3,500.

Omar Lopez, a sophomore at Elsie Allen involved in student government, spent time in the library last year between zero and first periods to keep warm as temperatures dipped in the winter. This fall he’s taking chemistry during zero period. Although a teacher provides him shelter in a classroom until he heads to first period, he said he misses working on homework in the library, which closed on Aug. 20 after staff noticed leakage from the upper level.

“It’s really the only place to go on campus that’s quiet besides the college hub, a very small space that’s not as accessible,” said Lopez, 15.

“We don’t know why it’s taken so long,” he said about the repairs. “It’s been a bit of a frustrating issue.”

Principal Gabriel Albavera said students and staff were kept informed about the library’s status through meetings and emails.

Students still are able to check out some books and use computers in the school’s College and Career Center and in classrooms. To prevent mold, walls, flooring, ceilings in affected areas were removed.

You can reach Staff Writer Susan Minichiello at 707-521-5216.

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