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Week Four: That Old Black Magic

June 14-20

After a quiet Tuesday, the asbestos abatement contractors arrived early Wednesday morning and began setting up a containment area in the LR and Microforms room.   They spent Wednesday bringing in supplies and equipment and sealing off the area.

The presence of warning signs on Thursday and early Friday morning was the only visible evidence of the process.  The noise and activity of the process were hidden behind black sheets of plastic.   Since no one other than authorized personnel could see inside, the staff was referred to a Web site where a similar process had taken place.

By mid-morning on Friday, the asbestos clean-up was nearly done, and the contractors began removing equipment and supplies.  In the meantime, the wooden frames for the new windows arrived, ready to be installed in the wall separating the LR from the outer hallway.   The contractor’s inspection discovered a small section that had been missed, so they set up again and treated the area.

Thunderstorms that rumbled through the area Sunday night seemed to portend the noises that greeted the staff on Monday morning.  Workers began drilling holes for the new windows, which would give visitors an inviting view of the LR and collections as they walk past the previously blank wall of the outer hallway.    By lunch, they had one position completely cut through the wall and had cut all three by mid-afternoon.



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