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Major water line failure in Alderman Library shuts down Greenberry’s and West Wing restrooms

The library announces henceforth closure of these locations in light of upcoming renovations

In response to Greenberry’s closing, students were encouraged to make use of other cafe options close-by including Einstein Bros. Bagels in the Bookstore, Starbucks in Newcomb Hall and the West Range Café. (Paige Waterhouse // CD Photo)

The University Library announced Tuesday that a major water line failure in Alderman Library has led to the closure of Greenberry’s cafe and half of the building’s bathrooms. All water to the West Wing will remain shut off for the remainder of the semester, as the library is scheduled to close completely for renovations this coming May.

The water shut down closed all women’s restrooms located on the West side of the library. As a solution, the library reassigned East Wing restrooms to accommodate students and put up new signage to indicate changes. 

“We regret the inconvenience this causes,” the University Library wrote in a statement on Twitter. “Thank you for your continued patience as we prepare Alderman for what is (increasingly obviously) a greatly needed renovation.”

John Unsworth, dean of libraries and University librarian, attributed the water line issue to the building’s old plumbing system.

“The plumbing in Alderman Library is original to the building (1937), and it has been failing in the last few years,” Unsworth said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. “Our friends in Facilities have worked their hardest to keep this building open and functioning up to now, and we are fortunate to be in position to close the building as planned in May, or even sooner if there’s any further failure in the plumbing.”

Unsworth also thanked Alderman’s users for their patience as Facilities managed the issue and noted the necessity — now more than ever — for Alderman’s renovations.

In response to Greenberry’s closing, students were encouraged to make use of other cafe options close-by, including Einstein Bros. Bagels in the Bookstore, Starbucks in Newcomb Hall and the West Range Café.

Third-year English Ph.D. candidate Llyod Sy frequents Alderman Library and commented on how Greenberry’s closing affects his daily schedule.

“It feels like just a mainstay, a foundation of my Aldermen experience is gone,” Sy said. “I'm missing it way more than I thought I would. It was a very dependable part of my day — come to Grounds, get Greenberry’s, go to class. Now that's cut out, it’s really weird.”

Sy recognized the opportunity to frequent another cafe option, but spoke to the convenience of Alderman Greenberry’s in particular. In addition, Sy commented on the renovation of the library as a whole and how it affects his student experience. 

“I am going to miss it, especially as an English grad student,” Sy said. “At times I would just walk through the stacks at random … there was a real joy of discovery that you don’t get at Clemons now.”

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