Plumbing problems flood offices in Grace Hall

By Jennifer Devereaux
November 2, 2000

Michael Bevelaqua

by Jennifer Devereaux
assistant news editor

The offices of Neal Newman, theatre director, and Mary Hill, administrative assistant, have sustained damage as a result of flooding. Both offices are located below female first-year dormitory bathrooms in Grace Hall. The flooding took place on Thursday, Oct. 19.

Newman’s office had been flooded four times prior to the Oct. 19 incident. All five incidences of flooding were caused by toilet overflow in the above bathroom. The first time was Monday, Aug. 28, two days before the fall semester started. On the Thursday following the Labor Day holiday, Newman entered his office to find that his desk was covered with one inch of water. This was the second time his office flooded.

Newman is not sure of the exact dates of the third and fourth flooding, although he does remember the inconvenience and damage each incidence has caused. As a result of the five floods, a computer, a printer, papers and personal items were ruined. The computer and the printer have been replaced; however, the personal items are irreplaceable.

Mary Hill’s office, which is located in academic affairs, was flooded for the first time on Thursday, Oct 19. Like Newman, her office is located directly below a dormitory bathroom. In both cases, the water from toilet overflow caused damage to the ceilings of each office. The water caused the ceiling tiles to cave in, bringing with them dirt and debris.

Two tiles had fallen from Hill’s ceiling in the Thursday, Oct. 19 incident. They were replaced, but they fell again on Saturday, Oct. 21. On Monday, Oct. 23, Hill entered her office to find the desks empty and the two office computers moved. On Wednesday, Oct. 23, facilities came in and ripped up the carpet and padding from her office. Hill is not sure if the two computers are being repaired or will be replaced. Hill lost many papers and she says that her office was basically out of commission last week.

As of Friday, Oct. 27, the plumbing in the bathrooms above both Newman and Hill’s offices had been repaired and had no leaks. Hill’s office is supposed to receive new carpet and padding this week. Throughout the past five incidences, Newman says that the college has been accommodating. However, he feels that, by no fault of his own, his teaching has suffered. Student’s papers have been destroyed, he’s been unable to respond to e-mail and he is unable to locate items in his office.

Newman has a message for his students. He said, ” I want the students to know I’m not usually this disorganized and confused. My office is usually a mess but I know where things are. However, the way things are now, it’s a mess and I don’t know where things are.”

Mary Hill said about the flooding, “It’s an unfortunate situation for everybody. I feel sorry for the girls upstairs too.” Steve Murphy from facilities reinforced the reason why the offices flooded. He did add, the reason the toilets flood is because people flush them when they are already clogged.

Jennifer Devereaux

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