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Extreme temperatures over winter break resulted in flooding of campus housing

Between Wright-Maddox, Belmont Commons and the Hillside apartments, 30 dorms experienced water damage over winter break due to broken pipes.

Director of Residence Life Anthony Donovan said in an email that cost of repairs from water damage and remediation were “approximately $400,000.” However, as there were other on-campus locations impacted by the cold weather, the total cost was higher.

Hillside resident Spencer Dovi was called by Hillside residence director Cody Cline on Christmas Day about the flooding.

“It was essentially just like, ‘Hey, your apartment as well as a couple others, have flooded in Hillside.’ And obviously the first reaction is, ‘Oh, I have instruments and stuff like that in there, what’s it look like?’ But there wasn’t a lot of information on it,” he said.

This was the last he heard until the new year, when he got an email detailing the repairs and maintenance.

Dovi said the RD’s were helpful in moving instruments and other valuables off the ground to avoid further water damage.

Arriving back on campus after break, Dovi said his apartment looked “like a tornado went through it.” Things were torn off the wall, his vinyl records soaked up all the water and mold clung to many of his personal items.

But this wasn’t as much of a concern for Dovi.

“The biggest things were, obviously, there’s damaged stuff that we have to replace, but there were also missing items,” he said.

His roommate reported a missing $200 from his money clip. Dovi is missing a gold chain.

The two are currently working with the university insurance company to assess whether or not they will receive compensation for their missing items.

Hillside resident Connor Fiehler also dealt with his apartment flooding.

He was on tour in Romania when he got the news.

“We got contacted by some of the RD’s in Hillside and they basically just said ‘third party contractors are coming to fix all the issues.’ So, it was just a bunch of these flooding contractor people that came in, tore up the carpet and everything,” said Fiehler.

He also experienced issues with missing items, and said his roommate lost a pocketknife. Furthermore, their rugs were thrown away without their permission.

Fiehler’s apartment experienced other issues, such as his dryer and dishwasher not working properly.

“I was already planning on moving off campus, but this sealed it. 100%. Not living on campus anymore after this semester,” said Fiehler.

Dovi experienced similar feelings of disappointment.

“It kind of hurt. You put your faith in people to look out for you and stand up for you, but it didn’t necessarily go that way. And it still hasn’t at this point,” he said.

Considering the situation, Donovan reports that Residence Life is looking to help students any way they can.

“Our ResLife team has been working with the impacted students to help them find a housing option that will allow them to focus on being a student and moving forward. It’s unfortunate and regrettable that some of the issues have not been able to be resolved as quickly as everyone has wished and worked for.”

This article was written by KatieBeth Cannon

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