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Frigid temperatures leads to busted pipes

ISU’s facility workers are continuing to repair damages caused by pipes that burst from the record- breaking low temperatures in the past week.

Pipes burst in several buildings on campus including Hancock Stadium, Redbird Arena, Wilkins Hall and the Center for Visual Arts.

In most cases, the water leaked from the sprinkler systems, which allowed plumbers and pipefitters to easily stop leaks by cutting off the water source.

Wilkins Hall sustained water damage by pipes that burst in the lobby and office area of the building. The bursts were caused by half frozen pipes that leaked water which damaged some offices and the lobby, including the front desk. University workers are reorganizing and creating temporary offices to accommodate for the water damage. The front desk will remain in the lobby as repairs are in progress.

“The staff has been really great at making the best of the situation,” Maureen Blair, director of housing at Illinois State University, said.

Parts of the basement were affected including the laundry room and the mechanical room. However, the damages were minor and did not affect the domestic water sources or the heat source. The damage did not put any restraints on students moving back in to the residence hall this weekend.

“We are fortunate that we had it happen far enough away from the students coming back that we could address the issue,” Eric Jome, director of media relations at Illinois State University, said.

Minor damages were also reported in the newly renovated Hancock Stadium where a pipe burst in the ceiling of one of the suites overlooking the field. Some ceiling tile was damaged, along with some damage to the floor and furniture.

Other small bursts occurred in Redbird Arena in a locker room as well as in the Science Laboratory Building where a small pipe burst early last week. The burst was immediately reported by workers that were already in the building.

In all cases, the damages were minor inconveniences and will not stop activities in any building or residence hall.

“Any of the issues we dealt with have been able to be put back together and we are functional,” Jome said.

Because the bursts happened during the break, facility workers were able to repair the damages relatively quickly.

“The timing was fortunate in the sense that we were still on a break, as far as classes and students, but it wasn’t at a really busy time of the year where not a huge amount of people were affected,” Jome said.

Facility workers will be vigilant in the next few days and continue to be on alert for dangerous situations as the warmer temperatures will thaw frozen pipes and potentially cause more problems or water damages in buildings on campus.

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