Posted December 6, 2012 by Cooper Point Journal in News

C-Dorm Flood Affects More Than Students’ Sleeping Schedule

Last Thursday morning, C-Dorm residents were woken by alarms set off by a busted sprinkler on the third floor.

“A sprinkler head was tampered with, resulting in the letting forth of several hundred gallons of stagnant water,” said Matt Lebens, the RAD service employee who responded to the incident.

When the sprinkler broke, it triggered the building alarm system, “which is what is supposed to happen when a sprinkler is activated,” said Mark Lacina, Assistant Director of Residential Facilities.

Residents of C-Dorm were forced to evacuate to A Dorm while nighttime RAD staff addressed the issues regarding flooding and fire safety.

Freshman Jake Hurner, a resident of the C Dorm fourth floor, said, “I personally wasn’t annoyed as most people.” Still awake as the alarms went off at around two a.m., he wasn’t part of the “refugees” setting up camp in the A-Dorm lobby.

For four hours the students were kept out of their dorm rooms. Due to the water penetrating the electrical system, RAD had to wait until the system dried out to deactivate at the alarm.

Lebens said the staff handled the situation “splendidly.” The process of moving students from one dorm to another at two a.m. was a long process, but Lebens appreciated their collective patience.

Extensive damage occurred from the water. Three to four apartments in direct path of the water are now damaged and in need of replacement. Components of the building’s fire panel sustained “significant damage” and some residents’ personal electronic devices were damaged as well. Hurner had only heard of some papers and clothing getting ruined from the water, along with the warped floors.

Lacina said RAD does “not believe [the tampering] was malicious in nature.” They are still investigating the cause of the broken sprinkler. Hurner said he received a “weird email” asking for students to report any information about the tampering.

This isn’t the first time a similar incident has happened in the dorms with just as devastating effects, Lebens said. He went on to remind students: “Don’t touch the residential fire sprinkler system. Your problems, and you’ll have plenty of them, will be both legal and financial.”

Replacing flooring and some sheetrock on the first, second, and third floor of C- Dorm will be worked on over Winter break in order to be of little inconvenience as possible to students.

By Kelli Tokos