Update on resident halls’ burst pipes

Holly Burns, Contributing Writer

In the last three weeks, as students have returned to campus for the spring semester, a few residential buildings have been affected by pipes bursting in both hallways and student rooms. Pipes in buildings are prone to burst during the winter as the extreme cold causes pressure to increase inside the pipes.


Vedder Hall, which houses first-year students, is the most recent victim of the trend. Many residents’ rooms have been filled with water because of this issue.


Owen Schiele ’22 resides in Vedder Hall on floor 2C. Schiele was sleeping when a pipe in the ceiling burst on Jan. 31.


“Luckily, we were still sleeping. So when the pipe burst, we woke up pretty quick since the water fell on me, and the noise of the water woke up my roommate. We were able to move our stuff before it got too bad,” Schiele said.


Since the roommates were able to move their belongings immediately after the water burst, most of their possessions were not ruined. Schiele says he and his roommate are now able to look back at the situation as a humorous experience.


Schiele also mentioned that later in the day the fourth floor of Vedder Northwest also flooded. Payton Kenney ’22 lives on the fourth floor of Vedder Northwest, and on Jan. 31 there were approximately two inches of water covering her room. The water also seeped through to the floor below. This flooding issue was due to an air handler malfunction.


Kenney was lucky to have friends who helped her move her belongings out of the flooded room. Two friends even housed her until her room was cleaned and move-in ready. “The maintenance staff was very nice and helpful, and I am very grateful to the field hockey and volleyball girls who helped with transitioning,” Kenney said.


Although Vedder Hall is the most recent victim of bursting pipes, it is not the only place on campus to have flooding problems. Many residents of Trax Hall have also experienced flooding in their rooms because of pipe malfunctions. Affected students are being relocated while the maintenance staff attempts to repair any problems with the pipes.


Smith Hall is another first-year residence hall affected by these problems. Smith Hall resident Emily Doyle ’22 witnessed a leak when walking around her building with a group of friends.


“We were walking under the Smith tunnel and noticed steaming water coming from the roof. We called Public Safety to make sure that everything was okay, and it turned out that a pipe had burst in the building,” Doyle said.


Although the University has been busy trying to handle the situation, students seem generally satisfied with the maintenance staff and their efforts in fixing the situation as quickly and efficiently as possible.


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