In another sign that the Cannon House Office Building needs a major renovation, a leak has caused damage in six Members’ offices.
According to Architect of the Capitol spokeswoman Eva Malecki, the leak began late Saturday night in a Member’s fourth-floor office suite, “caused by a failed pipe plug in a water line due to age.”
“In the past, staff offices in the Cannon suites each had sinks in them,” she said in an email to Roll Call. “Most of the sinks have been removed and the pipes feeding water into the offices have been plugged.”
Malecki did not say which offices were affected by the leak, but she said some staffers have had to be “temporarily relocated.” The AOC worked through Saturday night to address the problem, in some cases removing and replacing carpet, and repairing and repainting ceilings and walls.
“Most of the repairs will be completed in a few days,” she said.
At the time, as with this incident, there was no indication of plans to expedite the extensive upgrade of the nearly 100-year-old building that is scheduled to begin no earlier than January 2017.
The start date has been set so far in advance to accommodate planning and minimize disruptions, which will include mass office relocations.
“We have reached a critical stage in the life of the Cannon Building ... plagued with serious safety, health, environmental and operational issues that are rapidly worsening,” Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers wrote in early November to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) of the oldest building on the Capitol campus. “Without action, the essential systems housed behind the walls and in mechanical rooms will continue to crumble and fail.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.