North Central Building Floods

Photographer: Megan Switala
The basement of Chicago Hall Flooding.

North Central’s Chicago Hall experienced flooding from adjacent Elliot Park Market

In the morning hours of March 21, security noticed water leaking into the carpet of Chicago Hall basement. A pipe had burst in the basement of Elliot Park Market and a pipe that connected the two buildings had been left unplugged.

“Security first heard the water around two in the morning,” said Associate Director of Housekeeping Brandon Watson, “It wasn’t until four or five a.m. before it started coming in enough for it to be located, and it was more than just a drip in the wall.”

The pipe was located in the wall behind the desk of Women’s Basketball Head Coach Paul Brunner. There isn’t a firm answer as to why the pipe was there nor why it wasn’t capped off.

“I know some renovations were done, but you also wouldn’t think this pipe runs to the next building and if it somehow floods 12 feet of basement then we need to cap it off,” said Watson.

Facilities management and housekeeping worked long hours to combat the leak. According to Watson, it took a little more than 23 hours for two people from housekeeping to get the water out of the basement.

“It was between 600-700 gallons from what we picked up,” said Watson. “That doesn’t include the water that was still in the wall, and the carpet wasn’t bone dry when we were done.”

To help finish the cleanup North Central University hired a restoration company to run dehumidifiers to bring the rest of the water out of the floor and walls. The water was also of a potable source, so the carpet did not need to be ripped up.

Due to the snowmelt, floods are a normal occurrence during the transition from winter to spring. Several others have occurred, such as one in the Bookstore basement a few weeks before the Chicago Hall flood.

With the clean up finished, Chicago Hall now sits, waiting to be used for class again.

About the author: Weston Cregut

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