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Leaky roof at capitol posing safety risk

By Catherine Cruz
Published On: Sep 03 2013 06:05:00 PM HST

Lawmakers at the state capitol building dealt with a leaky ceiling, causing tiles to fall and lights to short circuit.

HONOLULU -

Representative John Mizuno got a real surprise when he walked into his office Tuesday morning and tried to turn on the lights.

A leaky roof problem caused his ceiling lights to flicker and spark.

"It honest to goodness scared us. I mean, we would not want to start a fire at athe state Capitol, so we  turned it off and contacted the sergeant-at-arms and the contractor," said Mizuno.

The electrical short was just the latest of a string of problems.

Water spots began appearing in the ceiling tiles over when Mizuno sits and does work on his computer.

It was last week that some of the tiles in the front room gave way.

Mizuno's staff has been joking that maybe they ought to wear helmets.

But it’s really no laughing matter because ceiling tiles actually broke an oriental vase

which was a gift to the office.

Crews hired to do a $4.5 million  roofing job to replace the waterproofing on the fifth floor have had to deal with soggy insulation.

The Department of Accounting and General Services believes it’s due to leaks over the last two decades and says the contractor Kaicor is responsible for any damages from the roofing job.

A crane is removing a lot of the debris from the rooftop but crews have no control over Mother Nature leaving behind puddles of water that isn't helping the situation in the offices down below.

"All of a sudden the ceiling comes down and as I said, this is the second time and it always happens on a three day weekend," said Rep. Cynthia Theilen.

It's just bad luck for Thielen, but she said the contractor has been very responsive

"Here are some of the soggy tiles that came down from the ceiling. The prior time about a fourth of the ceiling came down,”

 Thielen removed art work on the walls and purposely kept this area clear in case any more water seeps through.

In Rep, Chris Lee’s office, drips continue to torture staffers as water collects in containers in the middle of the office.

And down hallways, the tell-tale signs of trash cans strategically arranged to catch leaks warn that all is not well.

Repairs are expected to be complete by the end of the year.

 

 

 

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