One day after the first University weather-related closure since 1978, some students were told to take another day off Wednesday.

Patrick Barron/Daily
Ryan Reiss/Daily

Classes in East Quad Residence Hall were cancelled Wednesday in response to a pipe burst in the early morning, according to a University press release.

According to the press release, the break occurred at 9:30 a.m. but caused no damage to residential areas of the building.

University Housing spokesman Peter Logan said he could not confirm the precise time of the break, but said the flood was the result of a frozen one and a half inch pipe in the fire suppression system, which ruptured over the first floor theatre area.

Fire alarms were set off throughout the building as a result of the flooding immediately after the line break. Logan said the alarms automatically activate when the system senses a discharge of water, since that can be an indicator that the system is attempting to suppress an active fire. Fire officials must investigate the area to determine there is no fire present before the alarms can be deactivated.

Logan said fire suppression systems in the building are now fully operational. Most classes in East Quad will resume normal operations Thursday, with the exception of five classrooms that may require additional repairs — B830, B834, B852, B856 and 1423. Students with classes in these rooms will be moved to alternate locations for Thursday and Friday classes, according to an email from the University’s Office of Public Affairs.

Public Affairs encourages students to contact their instructors for additional information.

Wednesday’s pipe break reflects a similar situation in March 2013 — the flooding at North Quad — when a fire suppression supply line, much larger than the pipe in East Quad, broke and triggered a similar evacuation procedure.

The flooding primarily affected the first level corridors and main concourse areas. Logan added that regular dining operations resumed as normal after the incident, although an e-mail from residential advisors to students suggested that the flooding might have reached some parts of the dining facilities.

The Java Blue Café on the main level of East Quad reopened Wednesday afternoon, although one entrance may still be impacted by the damage. Logan said the housing staff turned off the water shortly after the flooding occurred and is working to repair any damage done to the affected areas.

Per standard evacuation procedures, students exited the building onto either Church Street or East University Avenue. LSA freshman Jackie Saplicki said students from both evacuation zones were then moved to the Ross School of Business until they were allowed to reenter the building at around 10:45 a.m.

Saplicki said she evacuated onto Church Street around 9:50 a.m. after the alarm was activated. She claimed there was a 20- to 30-minute delay before students on that side of the building were moved indoors, although Logan said housing staff immediately suggested that students move inside once the evacuation was complete.

“Everyone was totally compliant, but people were obviously enraged,” Saplicki said. “All in all, it was a little annoying.”

Students were allowed to enter the building around 10:45 a.m. Saplicki said. She said a second alarm was activated sometime after students entered. Although Logan could not confirm this, he said a second alarm may have sounded while the system was being reset.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *