Disorder in the court! The Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse springs a leak

Is Denver's new Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse all wet? The five-story, 310,000-square-foot building, the third and final structure in the Downtown Denver Justice Center campus that was authorized by Denverites in a 2005 ballot measure, was finished on time and on budget last July -- but seems to have sprung a leak since then, judging from this morning's e-mail from Matt McConville, Denver County Court administrator:

January 1, 2011, Happy New Year

A sprinkler head pipe broke on Sunday afternoon, January 1, 2011, at the new courthouse flooding 17 work stations and two supervisors' offices in Room 160. It did not affect our warrants division and they continued to work. Suzi Latona, Facilities Manager responded immediately hiring a property restoration company that specializes in this kind of work. Kris Griffin and I found them sucking up water, pulling the rubber base molding off so that holes could be drilled in the drywall to allow it to dry out. Kris and I then pulled the computers (CPU) off the carpet and put them on top of the work surface disconnecting all of the wires attached to the CPU to allow them to dry out. These computers will be tested by our IT staff before they will be reinstalled- I'm being hopeful that they are not damaged.

January 2, 2011

The restoration company worked all night and the carpet this morning, January 2 is significantly drier. Ron Trujillo, Terrie Cooke, Kris Griffin and I are here to determine the extent of the damage and to determine what work will be like tomorrow, Monday, January 3. While I write this memo there are technicians from the furniture company moving work stations so that the carpet underneath can be pulled up to allow the carpet to dry as well as the concrete underneath. Employees will not be working in these work stations for several days.

Work stations not placed along walls will probably be back in operation although the computers will be sitting on concrete and not carpet. Customer service will be handled at cashiering and the station that was used by Collections. We will continue to operate this way until the regular customer service stations dry out.

January 3, 2011

What to expect- It will not be business as usual although of course the public doesn't know this. There will be people responsible for restoring our space in and out of the office. We won't have the same capacity to assist the public as we will have fewer work stations. It is my hope that the rovers whose work stations which were under 1" of water will be able to work on floors three and four. Of course, flexibility and patience will help us all get through this unfortunate situation.

I asked Facilities Management if there were health concerns -- mold in particular. No was their answer. Water was not allowed to seep into the dry wall nor the carpet for an extended period of time so mold is not a concern. Carpet is being removed less than 24 hours after the leak. The water was fresh water contained in a sprinkler pipe that broke.

For those that work in 160 dress will be casual until further notice. This would not be a time to wear high heels. Tennis shoes would be a safe alternative. That's it for now. I'll keep you posted as I learn more.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun