PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - Portsmouth's Willett Hall isn't exactly "underwater," but the popular concert venue is getting in pretty deep.
The venue could be torn down if major structural damages are not fixed. These include a termite infestation and a major groundwater problem, all below the main stage.
Portsmouth's general services director told WAVY.com standing water measures four feet in some areas, which is nothing new. In fact, Dennis Bagley said the water has been there since the venue was built in 1955.
"The termite problem has gotten worse," Bagley said. "It's gotten to the point that they've eaten through the exterior."
Bagley said crumbling ceiling beams in the basement and bubbling walls in the auditorium show termite infestation. The termite problem can't be treated until the standing water is removed, if that's possible.
"There's no need to spend any money if we can't stop the water from coming into the building," Bagley said.
If the problems can't be fixed, Bagley said it may be time for the curtains to close at Willett Hall.
The venue is city owned but self-supporting. However, it does not have the money for this kind of overhaul so if city council decides to fix it, the money would have to come from the city coffers.
A geology study should be done a week from Monday so Bagley can present the findings to Portsmouth City Council.
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