On July 13, a leak was found in human resources, resulting in significant water damage. A flex pipe connected to a sink above HR in A202 gave way and burst sometime over the weekend. Vice President of Human Resources Aaron Hilliard’s office, located in A101, received the most extensive water damage. Jewell Evans, assistant to the vice president of human resources, also experienced damage to her workspace, which is adjacent to Hilliard’s.
The leak was found by contractors who happened to be on campus for unrelated matters at the time. The custodial staff responded promptly in an effort to minimize the damage. “It’s something that is just unpredictable. You just can’t predict when a pipe is going to give way or burst,” said Dexter Johnson, executive director of campus operations.
According to Johnson, when the pipe burst, the water leaked into the walls and came through a conduit embedded in the concrete and saturated the drop ceiling panels and ventilation above Hilliard’s office. After the ceiling was saturated, the water seeped down, soaking approximately 80 percent of the space in Hilliard’s office. Due to the absorbent nature of the drywall used, water on the floor meant water in the walls. A moisture meter used to asses the moisture content determined that the lower 18 inches of the wall would need to be removed.
Some furniture, including Hilliard’s desk was damaged but no electrical equipment was harmed. While some papers needing to dry, no files were compromised. Fans have been placed in Hilliard’s office and his furniture pushed to the center of the room, and enzymes were used to kill any residual traces of mold and other potential health hazards.
The pipe has since been patched up and no further trouble is expected to occur. It was approximated mid-week following the incident that repairing the damages would take seven to ten days. All repair expenditures will come from BC’s state-funded operations and maintenance budget.
Until their offices are repaired, Hilliard and Jewell have been temporarily relocated to other areas within A101. Evans identifies the relocation as an inconvenience due to a lack of accessibility, but does not anticipate the leak to affect the operations of human resources. Some members of human resources may need to be relocated during the repairs due to the distraction from the loud machinery.