New Canaan Library Closed Through Wednesday Due to Mechanical Problem, Flooding [UPDATED]


New Canaan Library on Feb. 18, 2024. Credit: Carl Franco

Update 7 p.m. Sunday Feb. 18

New Canaan Library President and CEO Kim McNally issued the following statement:

“We are working with our building project team to identify the cause of the failure and hope to have more information this week. We had to turn the water off in order to address the issue. We will open our building when we can restore our water service and the building is safe for the public to enter.”

Original Article

New Canaan Library is closed through Wednesday due to “an unforeseen mechanical issue,” according to a bulletin posted on the organization’s website.

New Canaan Library on Feb. 18, 2024. Credit: Carl Franco

In an email sent at about 3:30 p.m. to newsletter subscribers, the library said that the mechanical issue “has caused the first floor of the Library to flood.”

“We believe the relief valve on the backflow preventer has failed, causing water from the street to enter the first floor,” the email said. “Although we are uncertain as to when the flooding started, we were quickly notified at 11:30 am today when staff arrived to open the building. Regretfully we anticipate that the Library will be closed through at least Wednesday 2/21. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience. Please know our staff are working overtime to address this challenge. Thank you for your patience and we will notify you as soon as more information is available.”

Trucks from ServiceMaster Clean, a company with several Connecticut locations including Norwalk, could be seen on the southern and eastern side of the new library building on Sunday afternoon.

Asked about the situation by, Vice President External Affairs and Philanthropy Ellen Crovatto said in an email at about 6 p.m. Sunday, “We have activated our building project team which includes Turner construction to identify the cause of the valve failure. A commercial cleaning company team specializing in water damage has been there all afternoon and it looks greatly improved as of an hour ago.”

The reopening date is contingent upon our ability to ensure that any safety or functional issues are addressed and the building is dry and ready for use by our staff and the public,” Crovatto continued. “[Library President and CEO] Kim [McNally] will lead the efforts to conduct an assessment of what our immediate needs are in terms of any repair or replacement which may be required.”

New Canaan Library on Feb. 18, 2024. Credit: Carl Franco

The organization’s digital library remains open, according to the email as well as a bulletin on the homepage. 

Opened one year ago following a celebrated rebuilding project, the library site has long had issues with flooding from the east/Main Street side. The former “Lamb Room” and basement level in the old building often was flooded during storms. 

New Canaan Public Schools have been closed since Friday for February break and will reopen Feb. 26. will update this article as more information becomes available.

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