Spring textbooks unavailable

Students who have not yet purchased all the books needed for spring quarter should hustle down to the bookstore before May 1.

Students who have not yet purchased all the books needed for spring quarter should hustle down to the bookstore before May 1.

The bookstore’s lower level will be closed from May 2–16 in order to finish necessary repairs.

“All of the work is related to the damage from the flood in February,” said Ken Brown, bookstore president and CEO.

On February 7, 120,000 gallons of water inundated the lower level, destroying thousands of dollars of books and supplies.

“Remaining work includes re-carpeting the entire basement, replacing damaged fixtures and furniture, and repairing the walls that were cut as part of the abatement efforts,” Brown said.

DOW Columbia is the contractor that has been working in the bookstore since the flood.

“We tried to time [the closure] to impact students the least,” Brown said.

He said that summer is not a good time to shut down because classes start every week and students need books continuously throughout the summer quarter.

Water damage to sheetrock, cubicles and carpeting on the lower level is still visible. DOW Columbia staff have been painting the office area on the lower level and have replaced much of the damaged sheetrock. Bookstore staff have been displaced by the flooding and subsequent repairs.

“It’s been very disruptive,” Brown said. “We’ve had to move out of our office.”

He said that the cost for this phase of the repairs—mainly repainting, re-carpeting and replacing rusting fixtures and furniture—is somewhere between $370,000 to $400,000. That number is in addition to the cost of the initial cleanup, $125,000 in lost inventory and $75,000 in computer equipment.

 “If the books are here they will be available until they are returned to the publishers,” Brown said. However, “We have already done a large number of publisher returns so we don’t have to handle the product more than necessary,” he said.

Although spring books will be largely unavailable after May 16, summer books will be available as usual after that time.

Other items found on the lower level, including art supplies, test forms and some office supplies, will be available on other floors during the closure.

There is still an active review and investigation into the cause of the flooding being handled by the bookstore’s insurance company and the State of Oregon’s risk management company.

“Logistically this has been very interesting for us,” Brown said. “DOW Columbia and the other companies working on this have been running very tight and well-organized, so that’s been nice.”