Friday, October 26, 2007

"My roof's got a hole in it and I might drown"

Last summer, our roof came off in a storm. After a year or so, we finally got it fixed. Now, a different part of our roof is in trouble.

This building was donated to us in pieces. As Norfolk & Western/Norfolk Southern no longer needed portions of the building, they would give them to us. A quick tour of the building obviates this. Different paint schemes, sign layouts and fonts, and construction materials for galleries punctuate the run-on sentence of our building.

Among the last segments we received was the administrative wing on the far east side of the building. This housed the administrative offices for Norfolk Southern's Shenandoah Division. Now it's home to the offices of our accountant, Director of Operations, and Executive Director, along with our archives, fax and copy machines, and administrative files.

It's leaking.

When a new roof was applied to this part of the building, it seems that the roofers inadvertently blocked a drain pipe. This pipe began backing up and channeling water across the top of the building, underneath the roof. We were told yesterday that a part of that roof is quite literally floating on top of the structure, the roof membrane acting as a sort of inflatable raft. Water is coming in, ironically, through a bathroom. Several ceiling tiles have fallen already, and one of the light fixtures is streaming water onto the floor. That's got to be safe.

Next door, our Director of Operations had to evacuate his office at the insistence of a roofing expert who came to look at what was happening. We won't know how bad the damage is until the rain stops, but our earliest estimates are not good.

A letter to our readers

Dear readers,

When this blog began, we promised that it would be an unvarnished, unspun account of the things that go on here at your Virginia Museum of Transportation. Our latest post got our Executive Director into some trouble, and upset the wrong people.

Nothing said was false, but in order to remain true to our promise, we'd rather take down a post than try to make it less this or more that to appease certain people. As such, we're taking that post down immediately.

We apologize to you, but we hope you'll understand. As our moms told us, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

However, as an old teacher of mine once said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, sit next to me." If you'd like to read that post, you can email us for a copy.

Freedom of Information is a wonderful thing.

The VMT Blogger