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Flooded Auditorium

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The Aqua house is under investigation for the auditorium flood.

The Aqua house is under investigation for the auditorium flood.

Nancy Evans

Nancy Evans

The Aqua house is under investigation for the auditorium flood.

Ellie Grecul, Editorial Editor

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Disaster struck this summer, resulting in many restorations queued and a hefty bill that must now be paid for, yet many students may not have even noticed: as if last year’s gymnasium catastrophe wasn’t enough to satisfy fate’s apparent bloodlust for drowned architecture, our Scott Center sprung a massive leak earlier this year as well, flooding the auditorium and requiring immense renovation.

Nan Evans, our Director of Finance and Operations, was one of the first to discover the calamity.

“Our facilities manager came over, and he said, ‘Ma’am, you must come with me now,’ and I literally had to chase him as he ran around to the far side of the Scott Center where the seventh and eighth students usually come in,” she said. “He opened the doors and the water was gushing out the doors, just pouring and pouring.”

Horrific, sure, but also kind of strange: someone was in there at 9:30 in the morning and it was fine, but this was about 3:30 in the afternoon. Within the span of six hours, maybe even less, the main water pipe underneath the building had leaked and managed to flood the entirety of the pit, climbing up the ramp on the right hand side as well. The carpet was ruined, the drywall was cut into by the water damage, and the pews had physically expanded due to the nature of the particle board they’re made out of.

Luckily for us—those who utilize the building beyond daily chapel time in particular—the myriad of repairs and replacements will be done as efficiently as possible, with the goal of not having them affect any student or faculty member’s day-to-day life. Discussions with the insurance company must still be made, so that they can confirm expenditure and approve the nature of the changes, but assuming all goes smoothly, maintenance is likely to occur over the span of a week very few of us are on campus: fall break, Christmas break or some time similar.

“No options are off the table right now,” said Evans, “but as we get all the pieces put together, we can make a better decision to be the most efficient and least destructive.”

Overall, those involved are confident that all will turn out well.

“We laugh about it being traumatic,” said Dr. Katherine Cobb, President, “and it was a horrible thing, but no one was hurt, no one is sick; it was summertime, and we’ll get through this. Granted, it was a pain in the neck, and it’s going to be costly, but the way we look at it, the blessing is in the timing. And as bad as it was, we’re handling it.”

In fact, certain silver linings have already been derived from the event. For instance: whereas before if water was to be turned off, it would have to be turned off to the entire campus, with the realignment of the main water pipe (cut off in one section and now positioned above the walkway from the cafeteria to the gym, to those who haven’t noticed) and the acquisition of an isolation valve system, water can now be turned off to specific sections.

In conclusion, while the whole ordeal was terrible, it is being handled as effectively as possible, and should come of no worry to anyone.

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Flooded Auditorium