Library officials say it's sinking, but safe

COOS BAY, Ore. -- When walking into the public library in Coos Bay, to the naked eye everything appears to be normal.

But officials say the building is sinking.

It sits on the corner of 6th and Anderson downtown, where officials say signs of foundation settling have been showing up over recent years.

According to examiners, the building was constructed on un-firm ground made up of "Bay Mud," causing weak foundation support.

Sami Pierson, the director of the library, says even though it might feel a little unsettling, it is safe to be there. "We've been assured multiple times it is safe. We wouldn't be open if it wasn't. We wouldn't do that to the public, to the staff, it is definitely safe."

As cracks get bigger and bigger, the library board and the library foundation board are discussing two routes to solve the problem: remodel the building or move the library's location. "We would like to be able to have some more flexible space," Pierson said. "For instance, not be locked into a certain pattern for the furniture and the way things flow, and just, spaces we can use for the way libraries are used now: meetings, small group activities."

The library board will meet on May 23 to discuss further steps in what will happen to the building.