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Two inches of water flood LiSci

Water from a faulty pipe flooded the first floor of the Sidney E. Frank Hall for Life Sciences yesterday morning, soaking drywall and carpeting, but destroying no research.

Though the flooding spread to six labs, "There was no compromise to any research projects, programming and equipment," Director of BioMed Facilities Planning and Operations Peter Holden said. "The damage was pretty much to the building itself."

Water covered 10,000 square feet of the first floor after the pipe broke in the core service area of the building's east wing, Holden said. There were two to two-and-a-half inches of water in the most affected spaces and one inch in outlying areas.

The flooding began between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., when pressure caused the cap of a water line to fly off, Holden said. The cause of the pressure in the pipe is still unknown, but he said it was not related to yesterday's rain.

The water started to fill the first floor until it touched a fire alarm, causing the alarm to go off.

When facilities management responded to the alarm, they found no flames but inches of water instead. Director of Custodial Services Donna Butler and Director of Maintenance Services Jim Coen were among the first at the site.

"Donna Butler and Jim Coen did a really great job of getting everyone on site fast," Holden said. "Because of their effort, we were able to get a situation cleaned up that could have been a lot worse."

Butler and Coen could not be reached for comment.

Facilities management then contacted Water Out, a company the University uses for structural drying. According to Holden, Water Out began drying the building within two hours after the

flooding began.

"What a company like that allows us to do is get a quick response, a fast cleanup and minimize any damage to the building," Holden said.

Holden said the cost of repairs to the five-story science research building is unknown at this point.

"The water soaked into the drywall, so it's hard to know," said Associate Dean for the Program in Biology Edward Hawrot.

According to Hawrot, carpeting and drywall may have to be torn out and replaced.

The fast response by facilities management prevented more serious damage, Holden said. "It could have been a lot worse."



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