SPECIAL Reserve Police (SRP) officers attached to the Red House on Tuesday did not allow Newsday’s photographers to take photos of the leaking roof over the rotunda.
Newsday saw cardboards sheets laid out over a 15 feet by 20 feet portion of the floor of the rotunda several stories below the skylight. It was generally damp, with several small puddles of water collected in patches. The water looked as if it had fallen from above, rather than wafted in down the new driveway to the newly-created basement level.
Udecott chairman Noel Garcia told Newsday that the Senate chamber had a water stain on the wall, that he termed “minor dampness” due to a crack in the masonry. He said he had sent over Udecott workers to check on it. “We are not getting excited about it. It is within the defect warranty period.” Garcia could not say if the Senate stain had appeared after the 30 minutes of heavy rain on Tuesday. Newsday’s reporter tried to locate the wall stain but could not.
Given that Garcia had told Newsday the stain was near the pod-styled public/media gallery, Newsday sought to enter the public section but an SRP officer said reporters were not allowed in the public gallery. She said we could enter only the media gallery. In there we could not spot any stain. Newsday made our way to the back of the pod, scanning the walls for the stain, while asking to enter the media room underneath the pod. During the media tour of the Red House at the re-opening of Parliament last Friday, reporters had been shown the media room in each chamber and told they would be able to use them. However, even as Newsday scanned the walls and made our way towards the media room, SRP officers said we were not allowed to go to the media room. “It is not operational,” one officer said, even as a man was seen inside the centre operating broadcasting equipment.