Summit County main branch library closes due to sprinkler break |

Summit County main branch library closes due to sprinkler break

Summity County's main branch library in Frisco was forced to close for repairs after an overhead fire sprinkler broke and sprayed water the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 27. The library, located in County Commons, is set to reopen Saturday, Jan. 2.
Courtesy of A Kinder Carpet/United Drying |

Summit County’s main branch library inside the Frisco County Commons is closed to the public after an overhead fire sprinkler burst on Sunday, Dec. 27 and soaked about a third of the floor.

The situation started when an employee arrived to work before normal operating hours Sunday morning and quickly noticed the heat wasn’t on. Saturday temperatures in the area fell to a low of 10-below-zero and never reached above 7-degrees Fahrenheit, and, with no heat because of a faulty boiler, the library was frigid.

The Summit County Facilities Maintenance Department arrived to address the boiler and got it repaired. What was unknown as the space began to reheat was the a sprinkler head froze due to the cold environment and a build up of condensation.

“When the heat was turned back on,” said Joyce Dierauer, Summit County’s library director, “the sprinkler thawed out and expanded, and out it shot. No books are damaged, but we’ve had to move things around quite a bit to allow the carpet to dry out. We have books piled just about everywhere that’s not wet.”

Dierauer was not at the library at the time but was told the sprinkler sprayed in an 8- to 10-inch width in all directions for an estimated 15 to 20 minutes until maintenance was able to get it shut off. A few patrons were in the building and had to be escorted out, and the carpet, drywall and ceiling tiles were all affected.

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It could have been much worse. The sprinkler blew next to the seed library, flooded through the reference section and public computers, though those were unplugged before water could hit the connections, and was cut off before reaching the DVDs. It nearly got to the children’s room and the computer servers for the entire building.

“Who knows what kind of damage it would of caused if it got to the servers,” said Dierauer, noting the telephones also run through them.

A Kinder Carpet/United Drying out of Silverthorne has been on-site trying to get the carpet dried out as soon as possible, so the water stains left behind can be cleaned and removed. At the moment, bookshelves have been raised up off the carpet, so large blowers can create more air circulation to accelerate the efforts. The triggered sprinkler also created a large hole in the above tiles, so they’ll have to be replaced, as will some molding on the drywall to get back to the library’s original appearance.

“Right now, it doesn’t look too pretty,” said Dierauer. “Thankfully, we had no books in the near vicinity, and the equipment was moved before it could get damaged.”

No other areas in the County Commons were impacted by the broken sprinkler, and all offices and meeting rooms remain open for their normal business hours with water service uninterrupted.

For now, planned library-goers seeking local service should head to the north branch in Silverthorne or the south branch in Breckenridge. Those who had books, DVDs or other items on order at the main branch can pick them up at the north branch.

(All branch libraries are closed on New Year’s Day, Friday, Jan. 1.)

The main branch is scheduled to reopen for regular business hours on Saturday, Jan. 2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For updates on the closure, visit

A Kinder Carpet is also presently completing some water damage restoration work at Silverthorne Elementary after a sprinkler head leak at that building on Sunday, Dec. 27, as well.

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