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Damage caused by vandals who flooded Newton Abbot library building less than first thought

By Herald Express  |  Posted: November 10, 2012

  • FLOODED: Newton Abbot's Passmore Edwards Centre, above, and the children's section of the library, right

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THE EXTENT of the damage caused by vandals at the Passmore Edwards Centre, Newton Abbot, is less than first feared.

Devon County Council received the news from building surveyors and contractors, who have been assessing the damage.

The new £2.8million multi-service centre, which opened in June, was closed late last month after it was flooded when someone deliberately blocked two sinks in one of the public toilets on the first floor.

Large fans were bought in to help dry out the affected areas as quickly as possible.

As much of the water ran behind walls or under floors checking the safety of the electrical equipment has been a priority along with monitoring and cracks and splits which may appear.

Tests have shown the reception and first floor areas affected by the flooding have completely dried and work is under way to determine what repairs will need to be carried out.

Part of the reception area floor has sunk and will need to be lifted but the contractor is confident that due to the fast action of the team to mop up the flood water, and the fans bought in to dry things as quickly as possible, the floor has not suffered any long-term damage.

Further investigation is still needed above the ceiling in the reception area to ascertain any damage caused.

Now that the foyer area is dry, the centre can also look to reinstate the power and get the main reception up and running again.

Meanwhile, the centre remains accessible via the side door and residents are asked to continue to use the temporary reception set up next to the children's library.

Cllr Anne Fry, Devon County Council member for Newton Abbot north, said: "It is very good news the damage is less than first feared. I am sure residents will be delighted to hear that the centre will soon be back to running as usual and will wish to thank all those involved in making this happen so swiftly."

Cllr Roger Croad, Devon County Council cabinet member for communities, said: "We are working hard to get the centre fully back and running as soon as possible but there may be some further disruption while repair works are under way.

"Everyone has been very supportive, and we thank residents for their patience and understanding.

"We will continue to keep everyone informed of developments as necessary, and ensure people have the best possible access to services in the coming weeks."

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