In the John A. Wilson Building, when it rains, it pours—right into the office of Ward 3 Councilmember Kathy Patterson. The trouble began in June, when the heavy rains that left much of Washington flooded began seeping through the building’s northeast corner, into and through Patterson’s first-floor office, leaving a trail of peeling paint from the ceiling to the floor. To collect the falling water, Patterson set empty trash bins against the wall.
The Office of Property Management (OPM) sent in workers to fix the leaks in a building that was renovated five years ago. In Patterson’s office, their work included removing three large panels from the ceiling, leaving a dark, gaping hole in her office corner. Patterson figured the problem had been fixed.
When the rains returned last week, however, so did the drip—and Patterson’s bin collection. Nor were the ceiling panels that had been removed in June ever replaced. “I’ve talked to [OPM Director] Carol Mitten,” says Patterson, “and she thought it had already been taken care of.”
Mitten says that the water that spilled down from the building’s roof was the result of a cracked drainpipe. Mitten herself was called out of bed in June, she says, when overloaded pumps in the Wilson Building basement flooded the building’s main electrical room and set off its alarm system.
Now, work on the roof is underway, Mitten says. “The temporary roof work did not prove adequate to prevent further water infiltration,” she says by e-mail, “but we are optimistic that the more comprehensive permanent fix will do the trick.” Once her office deems the roof fully repaired, she says, “the cosmetic work to the northeast corner of the building will be completed.” —Isaiah Thompson