Residents in Hunt Hall had an unexpected surprise when water made its way into their residences on Saturday, Dec. 1.
A failure in the attic sprinkler system caused water to leak and saturate the insulation on top of the building. The water made its way down into three student rooms, a TV room, storage rooms and into the mechanical room.
“It took us about five to six hours before it was at a point where we could comfortably leave it,” said Director of Housing and Residence Life, Carl Holm.
According to Holm, the incident was caused by a failure to drain the water completely from the attic system after it had been tested. Because only parts of the attic are heated, the remaining water froze, causing damage to the pipe system. The recent warm weather that hit Marquette last week caused the ice to thaw and no longer plug the weaknesses in the pipes.
The contractor in charge of the sprinkler system responded immediately on Saturday, Dec. 1 to make a temporary repair, followed by a permanent solution that was finished Tuesday, Dec. 4, according to Travis Reamer, assistant director for facilities.
According to Holm, the next step is to remove the saturated insulation from the attic, let the attic dry out and then put in new insulation. Buildings with similar sprinkler systems will be tested soon to ensure that a similar problem does not happen.
“We’re not aware of any property damages to student furnishings,” Reamer said.
Of the three resident rooms that had water problems, the largest water saturation was in the carpet of a room on the third floor. As of yet, Reamer said no one has reported any damage to personal property, but students are encouraged to contact them if they find damaged items.
According to Holm, students are told in orientation sessions to insure their items before attending school, though many do not. Typically, the university is not responsible for covering any damage to personal property, but it can vary depending on the situation.
“Students are expected to have insurance on their property,” Holm said.
According to resident director (RD) of Hunt Hall Rhian Smith, several RDs and resident directors (RA) as well as members of Public Safety and the Housing Office all responded to the incident.
“Housing really pulled together really fast,” Smith said. “We’re pretty much put back together.”
Smith said she is grateful for the support and help from everyone on campus that was involved with the incident.