Water leak leads to $17,000 fix, leaves students frustrated

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by Amelia Schafer, Editor-in-Chief

A water leak in the basement of the Colonial Apartments, which was discovered earlier this semester by a Community Advisor (CA), developed into a much larger issue leaving 40 students without running water for 24 hours. 

“Maintenance staff investigated and found it to be a larger issue with the whole system,” Dean of Residence Life Matt Hansen said. “The burner was wet and would not light, resulting in the need for an emergency replacement of the water heater.”

Hansen said the project cost over $17,000, but hot water is now fully restored in the apartments. 

Korie Torres, senior class president, discovered Wednesday that her apartment no longer had hot water. After talking to her apartment’s CA, maintenance was informed of the incident. Not long after, water was shut off to the entire complex.

An email to Colonial Apartments’ residents at 2:55 p.m. on Wednesday informed students of their options for the next 24 hours. 

“Campus Services estimates they may not complete this project until tomorrow. In the event they can’t complete it today/in the meantime – should you not have a friend’s place or the locker rooms to go to for a hot shower – please use Kresge or Barker bathrooms as your Simpson ID will access those halls until 10 p.m, tonight,” the email said. 

According to the Student Government Association (SGA), this issue is just one problem in a string of larger maintenance issues on campus.

During SGA’s weekly meeting on Dec. 1, Torres and other students voiced their frustration with maintenance’s response to the situation. 

“Is Randy Rice doing his job well enough, or is the physical plant lacking a lot,” the Dec. 1 minutes said. 

Members of SGA said that this incident is part of a larger issue with maintenance, one that The Simpsonian previously reported on involving mold on campus. The Dec. 1 minutes also note that Rice has not responded to emails.

“I blame him, and so do a lot of people in Colonial,” Torres said.

Randy Rice, director of maintenance, did not respond to The Simpsonian’s request for comment.