Water Damage on Campus

Elizabeth Vierkant-

Most students are familiar with the water damage caused by a water faucet on the third floor of Jarvis Hall last semester, but what many students may not know is that the University of Wisconsin–Stout has had a history of water problems within the recent year.

The issues began in June 2017, when a pipe fitting in a lab sink failed in Jarvis Hall. Floors one, two and three were all affected by water damage. The sink has since been repaired, but the drying and repairs took one month to complete.

Following the incident in June, there was another failed pipe fitting on a steam line in the Communication and Technologies basement in August. The pipe was quickly fixed, but the drying took about two weeks to complete.

“2017 was a bad year for water damage. Usually we have about one water incident a year,” University of Wisconsin–Stout’s Director of Safety and Risk Management, Jim Uhlir, said, “But our insurance covers things like this.”

Along with the steam line failure, a limestone neutralization tank also failed in Jarvis Hall. The tank has since been altered, and the drying took about a month to be finished.

Following this was the damage caused by the faucet in Jarvis Hall in November. The drying after this incident took about two months.

The final and most recent incident occurred during December in the Memorial Student Center (MSC). Some fire sprinklers froze, and this caused the first and second floor to flood and suffer water damage.

The repair, insulation and drying of the sprinklers took about three weeks. Some repairs are still being finished.

“The history of pipe issues is not that old,” UW–Stout Vice Chancellor, Philip Lyons, told Stoutonia.

Since Jarvis Hall science wing’s construction in 2009, the history of water and pipe problems within the building only recently began.

“We have not experienced any problems since we identified a dead end pipe issue,” Lyons stated, “That issue was a design flaw in the new section of the science wing.”

UWStout students hope that the damages will stop happening soon.

“I think that it’s ridiculous that it continues to cause so much trouble,” said Hannah Gilkey, a sophomore majoring in special education. “I hope they figure out a solution soon so that we don’t have to keep throwing money at temporary fixes and instead spend it on something else for Stout.”

“I think it sucks, especially for the people who have to clean up the water and the students that the water damage is affecting,” Amy Popp, a sophomore majoring in professional communication and emerging media said. “I hope that with the upcoming renovations that this problem will be solved.”

“We can’t have classes in rooms that flood or get ruined through extensive water damage,” Bridget Pionkowski, a sophomore in entertainment design, said, “I hope it gets solved with renovations and that it isn’t overlooked during future renovation opportunities.”

 

Soon, the repairs from the recent damages in the MSC will be complete. There have been no new water damages on campus as of yet in the new year, and UW–Stout students hope that this stays that way.