A water main break on Bonisteel Street put North Campus out of commission last night, forcing building closures and dismaying overworked Engineering students.

Nonresidential buildings on North Campus closed at 9 p.m. last night, said Verena Ward, a Media Union librarian.

“We made the announcement that there is no water. … All the buildings are closing at 9 because it is a safety hazard and a health hazard,” she said.

Construction work was responsible for breaking the water main, said Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Diane Brown.

To avoid risks associated with poor lighting, city and University officials will wait until this morning to repair the break, Brown said.

Classes are not officially cancelled today, but there is a possibility that individual professors might choose not to hold class, she said. All buildings will be open, although water may not be fully functional in all of them.

Students on North Campus said the broken water main and subsequent building closures adversely affected them.

“It’s kind of messed up – everything is shut down. I have a report due today, so I may have to go to Central Campus,” Engineer senior Chijioke Okafor said. “I would like to stay here, but I need to use some engineering programs and they have some on Central Campus. I don’t have the programs myself.”

LSA senior Justin Ricci, who works at the Media Union’s information desk, said he has seen many disappointed engineers trudging back to Central Campus to work on computers there.

“I see people coming here from Central Campus and I have to tell them it’s closing. Some classes … are ending early and the café is closed. I’ve worked here for two years and this is the first time something like this has happened,” Ricci said. The Media Union, which is usually open 24 hours, shut down at 9 p.m. last night. Pierpont Commons and several other buildings, including the Arts and Architecture, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and G.G. Dow buildings were also closed early.

Engineering senior Brent Fiedler said he is more upset about other inconveniences relating to the water main break.

“I was really pissed – there hasn’t been coffee down in Pierpont Commons. It’s not making me happy. In the Media Union all the restrooms are shut down except for the one on the bottom floors,” Fielder added.




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