Aftermath of water main breakTweet
Power was restored to Science 4 Friday afternoon, Nov. 19, allowing faculty access to the building Saturday morning for the first time since the failure of a water main by the Science 3 loading dock on Nov. 13. The building is expected to be fully occupied for normal working hours on Tuesday, Nov. 23.
It’s estimated that more than 1.5 million gallons of water flowed through Science 5, currently under construction, as well as Science 3 and Science 4, before the water main was repaired.
Other than Science 3 labs, classes from Science 3 and Science 4 remain relocated through Thanksgiving week and most classes will return to their regular locations on Monday, Nov. 29. However, due to heavy damage to the Science 4 elevators, which cannot be repaired before the semester ends, two classes will remain relocated through the end of the semester.
Though many classes have been disrupted and/or relocated, the largest impact has been felt by the researchers housed in Science 4, which is predominantly a research laboratory where minimal courses are held.
“The flooding of our science buildings was a devastating misfortune. There is little doubt that your sponsored projects and commitments to funding agencies will be delayed, if not derailed, by these events,” said Interim President C. Peter Magrath in a message to the faculty whose research has been adversely affected by the water main break. “As our teams work to make things right, I share the very same concerns that you do. First and foremost, how do we get our researchers back into the lab and rebuild our research activity to the same level – or beyond – what it was prior to the flooding?”
Faculty affected by the damage have been asked to document the losses to their labs and Magrath pledged to do everything possible within the University’s means to help mitigate the damages. In a meeting with psychology faculty who lost equipment to water and debris damage, Harpur Dean Donald Nieman said it is a top priority on campus to restore faculty and their research endeavors as quickly and completely as possible and he encouraged faculty to complete their inventories “so we can get this resolved.”
Clean up and restoration of services continues, with crews from Physical Facilities replacing sheet rock, drying out carpet and removing dirt and debris. “I’ve been told time and time again about the long hours, diligent work and exemplary cooperation that have been displayed in these recovery efforts,” said Magrath.
It’s not yet known how much the clean up and remediation will cost.
For answers to specific questions about the clean up, see the frequently asked questions.