The Daily Illini

Illini Tower residents call for resolution of flooding

Water+damage+on+the+second+floor+of+Illini+Tower+on+Oct.+11.+The+first+to+fourth+floors+of+the+residence+hall+were+flooded+on+Sept.+25+by+a+sprinkler+in+one+of+the+apartments.+
Water damage on the second floor of Illini Tower on Oct. 11. The first to fourth floors of the residence hall were flooded on Sept. 25 by a sprinkler in one of the apartments.

Water damage on the second floor of Illini Tower on Oct. 11. The first to fourth floors of the residence hall were flooded on Sept. 25 by a sprinkler in one of the apartments.

Constance Sarantos

Constance Sarantos

Water damage on the second floor of Illini Tower on Oct. 11. The first to fourth floors of the residence hall were flooded on Sept. 25 by a sprinkler in one of the apartments.

By Zihan Wang, Staff Writer

Three weeks after several floors were flooded at Illini Tower, students whose rooms were affected still have no idea when they will be able to return to their original suites. They are frustrated by the housing facility’s response.

The first to fourth floors of Illini Tower, a private certified housing facility, flooded the night of Sept. 25. Students living on these floors were moved to different locations on campus, and some are living with students they’ve never met before.

Ronnie Davis, general manager of Illini Tower, said the flood was caused by a sprinkler in a student’s apartment, and Illini tower was only able to turn the fire alarm system off once the fire department came.

“We have a number of students impacted by the flood, so we worked to try to make the impact as minimal as possible,” Davis said.

Yuhan Li, freshman in Media, said carpets on the affected floors were wet, and the walls, soaked with water from the flood, bulged.

Li said she spent the first two days after the flood living in the Illini Union hotel, and then she stayed at Illinois Street Residence Halls for a week. Since then, she has been living in a separate suite in Illini Tower with a new set of roommates.

“This makes me a little bit not satisfied because I want to settle down and because I have a lot of work to do. But their placements are always temporary,” Li said. “It’s really annoying.”

Danming Wang, freshman in DGS, said ISR was inconveniently located, and she wants to settle down because she had midterm exams at the time.

Li said when she asked the Illini Tower staff why the residents were being moved around, the staff told her she could stay at ISR if she wanted, but she would have to foot the bill herself.

Davis said they had to act fast after the flood, and the Illini Union Hotel could only provide two days of accommodation. Illini Tower also provided shuttle services and meal plans for students who were relocated. 

“I’ll tell you that we did what we thought was in the best interest for the students,” Davis said.

Shuhan Huang, freshman in LAS, said when she received the email notifying her she’d be living in Illini Tower again, she assumed she’d be going back to her original room. However, she and her roommates were separated and placed in different suites with strangers.

“I originally lived in a two-bedroom with my roommates, but now we have to be separated,” Li said.

Wang said Illini Tower compensated them for living in suites that cost less than their original locations. She said they have to live with students with different living habits, and it is inconvenient.

Huang said the repairing process was inefficient.

“Every time we get to our floor we saw there are no workers repairing in the room,” she said.

Davis said he understood the students’ perspectives, and he said he is not claiming everything is being done to perfection, but they tried their best to help students.

“When we asked when the work can be done, they said ‘We don’t know,’” Wang said.

Davis refused to disclose an exact time for when students would be able to return to their rooms. He said they need to make sure the floors affected by flooding are safe before students return.

“It makes us have no idea about what we should do. Maybe one month later they tell us, ‘Now you can move back,’ so we have to spend more time to move our stuff back again. It really wasted us a lot of time,” Li said.

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