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The Scarlet & Black

Heater break causes leak


In the early morning hours of Monday, Jan. 27 and Sunday, Feb. 2 a heating unit on the upper floors of Lazier residence hall burst, causing heating fluid to flood rooms on multiple floors, according to Director of Facilities Management Rick Whitney.

In an email to the S&B, Whitney wrote that the bursts were caused by cold outside air coming through an open window, which had been left open for “12 plus hours.” This allowed the heater fluid to freeze, he wrote.

“Once the window was closed and the room warmed up, the burst coils thawed and released a large volume of heating water from the unit, causing moderate flooding to this room, adjacent rooms and rooms below,” Whitney wrote.

The bursts affected multiple rooms in the southeast corner of Lazier’s third and fourth floors, with some heating fluid making its way down to the second floor via the stairs, according to Keneil Brown ’14.

“[The fluid] spilled down into my room, the hallway, a bit of the kitchen, a bit of the lounge on our floor, a couple other rooms and the rooms below,” said Grace Lloyd ’16, a resident of Lazier’s fourth floor. “It dripped down through the walls, the floor and the ceiling.”

Lloyd commended the efforts of Facilities Management and Security in responding to the incidents.

“Both times [FM and Security] were pretty efficient about it,” she said. “They just made sure we knew what was going on and that we had a place to go if we did not want to stay there because … it was not the nicest situation to be in. Some people left and some people stayed.”

Lloyd described how Security woke her and her roommate at 4 a.m. because fluid was leaking under their door from the next room.

“I don’t know what it consists of,” she said. “I just know it was bright pink … I thought it looked ridiculous because it was cotton candy pink.”

Sara Pasha ’15, who lives below Lloyd, described the first burst as being not as severe as the second and also said that those on the fourth floor experienced far more flooding than those on the lower floors, although their neighbor, Patty Murphy-Geiss ’14 “[had it] a lot worse than us.”

As a result of the incidents, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life and Orientation Andrea Conner sent out an all-campus email warning residents to keep their windows closed in order to avoid future bursts.

“This could happen in any residence hall or other building where windows are left open for a significant amount of time in frigid temperatures,” Conner wrote in an email. “I chose to send the campus email to remind students of that.”

Conner also said the administration was not releasing the name of the student or students responsible for having left the window open.

“We are not publicly revealing the room number where the water originated,” Conner wrote. “It’s not fair to the student(s) to announce that for their peers to know.”

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