JCU’s campus hit by multiple water leaks over winter break


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Water damage in the Dolan Science Center and residential buildings such as Bernet Hall caused issues over winter break

Laken Kincaid, Managing Editor

Over winter break, multiple buildings across John Carroll saw intense water leaks and various levels of flooding. While no students were at JCU at the time, the structures affected are still recovering from the incident.

Starting on Dec. 23, just a week after students left to celebrate the holidays, much of Northeast Ohio saw a brutal snowstorm that dropped the region’s temperature below ten degrees with potentially even lower numbers if windchill is accounted for. According to Cleveland.com, places like Erie County were placed under a “level 3 snow emergency just after 6 a.m., restricting travel to emergency vehicles only.” This warning stayed in effect until 10 pm on Dec. 24. 

While the snowfall seemed to be the biggest concern especially for those trying to get home to spend time with their families, for John Carroll, the wintry climate did some substantial damage. Dan Borosh, Director of Physical Plant for JCU, told The Carroll News that Campion Hall, the DeCarlo Student Center and the O’Malley Center faced rushing water coming from burst fire suppression sprinkler pipes. As stated by Hope Plumbing, this kind of situation can occur anytime temperatures sink below 32 degrees. Other buildings like Bernet Hall also felt the wave as a heating coil fractured in its attic, causing a drain to clog on the first floor. 

Not much damage happened in Bernet with only two suites being impacted. However, day-long renovation efforts were needed specifically in buildings like the O’Malley Center to help ready the university for the return of students less than three weeks later. In the end, JCU community members were welcomed back on campus on Jan. 17 without any hindrances from water damage.

However, Borosh warns that an occurrence like this could happen again if we continue to see a freezing winter. He recommends that if a student finds themselves in a situation where they discover a burst pipe, they should call JCUPD immediately. For now, the facilities team remains hard at work to prevent this problem in the future.

“We are working on mitigating this with infrared scanning to detect cold areas, additional insulation in areas and an increase in heat and air flow in certain areas that we had the problems in,” Borosh elaborated. “The facilities team is working diligently to investigate problem areas that were discovered. We have a great team and we have all worked very hard to get things repaired and back to working order.”

With temperatures apparently on the rise for the remainder of February, even if another blizzard does not occur this semester, these issues will most likely be revisited come winter of 2023 along with the other renovations happening on campus under the “Building Inspired Futures” project.