A construction error uncovered this week during UWA Reid Library’s ground level refurbishment has meant that the entire building will have to be demolished.

Pending further investigation, it is currently unknown if any party is at fault. The university is yet to indicate if it will pursue a case against the contracted Western Projects company.

The refurbishment, which commenced in November last year with expected completion time of August, focused on the lower level of the 52-year-old library. The project was undertaken as part of a larger strategy of improving and modernising campus facilities and services, with improvements to include a new café, greater WiFi access, 4 massage chairs and one foot bath.

Vice Chancellor Paul Johnson broke the news to media yesterday evening, stating “It is with much regret that I inform students, staff and the community that due to an unforeseen fault in the lower substructures of the Reid Library, a grave error has occurred during the refurbishment process. The library is no longer safe in its foundations, and the university cannot for reasons of health and safety permit it to stand.”

The precise nature of this ‘fault’ is yet to be known. However an anonymous source has told Pelican Magazine that during drilling, the construction crew encountered a hollow subterranean chamber, located directly below the moat. In this chamber was contained a large quantity of perfectly preserved grains and legumes, filling the room from floor to ceiling.

The university did not respond to Pelican’s request for comment.

Words by Kate Prendergast