During the last week of Christmas break, temperatures plummeted in Ada. Because of the far below-average temperatures, sprinkler lines to the fire suppression system in Stadium Views East and West and Dukes Memorial split and burst during the week. This caused flooding in both of the buildings.
Marc Staley, Director of Facilities, explained that the vines in the sprinkler lines split in the apartment buildings because of a draft that went through a ventilated soffit. Unfortunately, this caused both lines to split in Stadium View West.
The first alarm sounded around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 7. Luckily, someone was in the building changing filters and heard the flow alarm sound, allowing for a quick reaction time and for the water to be shut off. Around midnight, another split occurred in the same building. This time, the break was not so easily discovered.
“It required us…to cut holes in the walls and ceilings in those apartments,” said Staley.
On Wednesday, the same scenario occurred in Stadium View East, though it only affected on side of the building.
Staley explained that three apartments (two in the west building and one in the east) were most affected by the bursting, though there were minor leaks into the neighboring apartments.
Repairs to the apartments have already begun, and Staley estimated the repairs to take four to five weeks.
“Basically, we’re cutting the drywall about a foot high and replacing all of the carpet,” Staley explained. Wet insulation was also removed and new insulation is being put in to replace it.
Justin Courtney, Director of Residence Life, said that students were notified within 24 hours of the event.
“We notified [them] as quickly as we could,” he said, adding that students were also made aware that repairs were beginning as soon as possible.
These students have been temporarily placed into open rooms around campus.
“We tried to keep them together in pairs as best we could…but it was difficult,” Courtney said of the students. “But they were troopers.”
Courtney felt that this might be a push for other students to look into Renter’s Insurance for on-campus living.
“I think doing the Renter’s Insurance is the smartest idea,” he said, adding that, with the cost of potential losses, the price of the insurance is worth the money.
In Dukes Memorial, the fire suppression line ran through a chase on the north side of the building and split above a drop ceiling. The damage in this building was more extensive; only about three rooms on the first floor of Dukes were not impacted. Those most affected were offices of professors in the English Department.
Currently, staff and faculty are being moved around to accommodate schedules while the rooms are repaired two at a time. Tile has already replaced the carpeting in four rooms.
“We’ve got a good start on it and, so far, it’s going well,” Staley said, though he emphasized that repairs would take several weeks.
Both Staley and Courtney were thankful for the work and cooperation of all involved, including Residence Life, Physical Plant, Scott Parsons, Anisa Jenkins, Megan Ruffner, Dr. Lisa Robeson, and Dean Albrecht.