Water damage affects alternative campus housing

Courtney Fox, Viking Fusion News Reporter

After the drought of fall semester, many students have welcomed the recent rainstorms with open arms. However, many dorms have suffered from water damage, specifically the townhouses and cottages. Some residents say that the leaks were always there, but were not noticeable or became an issue until the recent storms.

“It’s been there since we moved in,” junior and townhouse resident Jenn Leahy said. “But because of the drought first semester it wasn’t ever a problem so we ignored it.”

The water damage is not just minor annoyances like small leaks, but has caused mold to grow or has even forced some residents to rearrange their rooms.

“When it rains my roommate has to move her bed into the middle of the room, so her bed doesn’t get wet, and then we have to leave it there for a few days, so the water can dry and won’t mold,” Leahy said.

Emily Cottage, another alternative dorm, has also been struggling with water damage recently, primarily in bedrooms on the second floor of the cottage.

“Res life knows about the issue, but we haven’t done much with it,” senior and Emily resident Tyler Jagt said. “The room leaks in super bad storms, but we’ve only had one of those this entire year. So other than during a storm, we totally forget about the damage.”

Some students have also had issues getting a response from Physical Plant. Leahy had to contact Physical Plant four times before they came to her townhouse.

“The first two times we put in a request no one ever came, the third time the guy told me he’d just paint over the water damage and he said he fixed the seal but then it rained and water was still pouring through so he clearly didn’t fix it,” Leahy said. “And now the fourth time it took us going to our RA and him telling his boss to get anything done. 

Assistant Director of Physical Plant Nicholas Hopper says that best way to report water damage is to go through Res Life first, who will then contact Physical Plant.

“There are a lot of variables involved in fixing the damage,” said Hopper. “We cannot fix the inside problem until the outside problem is fixed. Once the leak is fixed then we can fix the inside damage. It also depends on how much water damage is happening across campus.”

If the water damage is harming students, however, Hopper said that they will fix it immediately.

“If it was dangerous to someone’s health or put anyone at risk, of course we would fix it immediately,” said Hopper. “That’s a different story.”

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