By: ANTHONY AYALA
Two IUSB buildings suffered water damage over winter break. Director of Facilities Management Michael Prater, described five separate incidents that occurred in the Education and Arts Building and Northside Hall.
On Dec. 27 a fire alarm activated in the Education and Arts Building, alerting Indiana University Police and the Fire Department.
“Upon further investigation they found water flowing within the building. A sprinkler had burst on the second floor of the student lounge room 2101. Water had gone down the hall towards room 2108, turned south around the corner and had flowed into classrooms,” Prater said. The water traveled across the south side of the building through the elevator shaft and coming down into the first floor conference rooms and into Starbucks.
On Dec. 28, facilities had received a call about a broken water supply line in Northside Hall. They found a broken pipe in the Biology Research Lab, which resulted in water leaking through the floor and into the microbiology areas in the basement.
Facilities also discovered there was a frozen heating coil in the biology area of Northside. The frozen heating coil was caused by a pump malfunctioning over the weekend. The coil suffered further damage and split due to hot water hitting the frozen coil causing additional water damage down in the biology area.
While clean up was underway, another heating failure occurred. On Jan 2, Prater said, “We found an additional heating failure at Northside Hall. An outside air damper had gotten stuck in the open position and had frozen the unit ventilator in Northside room 113.”
This resulted in another split coil leaking water in room 113 down directly below into room 013.
That was not the end of the troubles over winter break. The final incident occurred at the northeast vestibule in the Education and Arts Building.
“Those vestibules have heaters in them. Either the door got stuck in the open position, or something occurred that caused the sprinkler to freeze and burst in the vestibule,” Prater said.
Prater said he expects the Education and Arts Building classrooms to be restored in two or three weeks. However, Northside will be a long-term project.
“At Northside, we are still evaluating and trying to best compensate and to best correct for deficiencies in the building. It is an old building. The section that failed was part of the original building built in the late 50s early 60s,” Prater said.
Although, no active classrooms were damaged by the leak, Prater understands the damage is very disruptive for the professors and apologizes for any inconvenience the damage has caused.
“Part of the challenge with Northside is trying to get the heater repaired in order to get the heat back on in the damaged section of the building. We have to thaw it out slow enough so we can see whether there are other leaks. When the heater failed it allowed the fire sprinkler in that section of that building to freeze and some of the lab sinks to freeze. So we need to watch each of those as we turn them back on to see whether or not they leak.”
Prater and his staff are currently looking for a short-term fix to make that section of the building usable while considering a long term solution to prevent this from happening in the future.