Inclement weather damages buildings across campus
Exercise machines condemned, dorm rooms marred
Published: Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 18:02
A winter season with an unusual amount of snow, old Wellesley facilities and rising global temperatures has recently culminated in the form of flooding damage to various buildings across campus. Affected areas range from public spaces to dorm rooms, with the latter problem necessitating some students to move into alternate housing until the situation is remedied.
"With the rough winter and a lot of ice build-up in the gutter system, once the snow starts to melt, there is always a potential for leaking," Meghan Todd, Area Coordinator of Tower Court, said. According to Todd, some leaking happens most years, but Tower has been relatively unmarred this season, with fewer than ten rooms affected.
"I've been very pro-active about communicating with students, posting on the dorm conferences, and at the first sign of any leaking, liaising with the facilities," Todd said.
Aside from Tower, Stone Davis has also experienced some leaking due to the weather. Erin Doherty, Area Coordinator for Stone-Davis, explained that the only leaking within the complex occurred in the main living room. "A pileup of standing snow on the flat roof lead to some leaking which caused a section of the plaster on the ceiling to come down," Doherty said.
Fortunately, facilities took care of the problem immediately.
"Due to the recent severe weather some student rooms have been damaged," O'Leary wrote in an e-mail to residents of the Tower Complex and Hazard Quad on Feb. 7. "If conditions do not improve it will be necessary to re-locate students from damaged rooms [into rooms with extra beds]."
Area Coordinators were unable to comment on the specific locations of the affected rooms. Jennifer Hsu '13, a resident of Munger Hall, said many rooms in Munger have experienced leaking, forcing residents to file facilities requests. Paula Queenan, Area Coordinator of Cazenove and Pomeroy, also confirmed that her Residential Staff have offered 40 towels and four plastic buckets to students experiencing leaking in their dorm rooms.
In addition to student dorm rooms, the Keohane Sports Center has also recently experienced problems.
According to Chelsea Patry '13, who works at the Sports Center, facility damage began about two weeks ago, when temperatures above freezing melted much of the rooftop snow on campus. Large puddles appeared on the side of the indoor track, greatly decreasing the facility's viability, she said.
Three elliptical machines in the building also sustained damages, and were covered with plastic bags after being deemed unusable. According to Catherine Oleskewicz '14, a frequenter of the Sports Center, the affected machines were very close to the wall, which she speculates may have been part of the problem. "The ellipticals were completely soaked from the leaking," she said.
Finding an open treadmill has already been a recurring problem, she said. The fact that there are fewer fitness machines available due to leakage worsens it.
"I think the Sports Center should increase the number of fitness machines," she said.
Hsu, a member of the varsity squash team, agreed. "People [have been complaining] that there [are] not enough machines [since] some were put out of order," she said.
Despite the present situation, Hsu said she thinks the facilities maintenance staff "has done a good job of taking care of the problem, as with older buildings, leaks and problems are expected." The issue at hand is not one of shoddy maintenance, but of the facilities themselves, she said. Hsu believes these problems may be alleviated through a remodeling of the Sports Center and any relevant dorms.
"The Sports Center could definitely be improved overall," she added.