The first floor of East Hall flooded, causing the lobby to be unavailable to students on March 7. Most students were on Spring Break, but some were there to witness the flooding. East Hall resident and junior business education major Roshanne Smith noticed about an inch or two of water on the floor in the east wing of the residence hall.
“It was a lot of water, and it was really frantic for a while,” Smith said. “It was a Saturday morning, and it was really early when it started. Someone really noticed it around 6 a.m.…The people from the Physical Plant were here, thankfully, within the next hour. They started working on it about 9 a.m.”
According to senior graduate student social work major and East Hall resident assistant Troy Heffron, a sprinkler pipe had frozen after a heater on the first floor had stopped working. Heffron said that after the pipe warmed up from the weather, it thawed out and burst, causing the floors to flood.
After Heffron was informed of the leak, he called the Physical Plant, which sent people immediately to repair the damages.
According to Smith, throughout the next hour or so, the Physical Plant staffers worked to fix the issue by vacuuming all the water off of the floor. Following that, they checked the corners of the walls for water damage. They put out fans on all the wings and in the lobby to dry the walls and the floor more quickly. The fans stayed out for about three days to help prevent further water damage.
“[The fans] were very loud and annoying,” Smith said. “It just changed the dynamic of the lobby area. Not many people hung out in there for a little while.”
According to Heffron, the workers from the Physical Plant had to remove the baseboard to get rid of moisture from the walls, but it was not a long process. While the students were gone for Spring Break, Physical Plant personnel repainted the walls. Although no residents were forced to move out of the hall, they did have to relocate to the third and fourth floors for events they normally would have been held in the lobby.
“We had a few complaints,” Smith said. “[The conference room] is on the first floor, and people use that every Monday. So they had to relocate to different lobbies. We have a resident that really likes to play board games in the lobby area, and he was really upset that the fans were there.”
Heffron stated that this should not discourage residents from moving in as this does not happen very often, and if it does, UIndy has the proper resources to respond.
“This was an unfortunate incident that happens once every blue moon,” Heffron said. “I don’t think it would be anything to worry about. I think if there had been a pattern or became a pattern it would be more understandable. … We are in a good spot in case this happens again.”