Newman Hall investigates pipe burst as residents return

Residents of St. John’s Catholic Newman Center were told Tuesday that they will be able to return to their rooms Wednesday at 2 p.m., after flooding from a burst pipe led to evacuation from the hall’s south building.

The flood, which occurred around 4:45 p.m. Monday, led to the immediate evacuation of both the north and south buildings of Newman, according to Newman’s director of operations, Tristan Pisarczyk. He said water to the south building was shut off immediately.

The pipe leak occurred in the fourth floor attic of Newman’s south building, sending water all the way to the building’s ground floor.

A similar leak from the same pipe occurred last year, but Pisarczyk said this year’s causes are still being investigated by contracted engineers.

“We’re trying to assess what the cause is and why last year’s fix didn’t work,” Pisarczyk said. “We want to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

An email to south building residents was sent at 10:32 p.m. Monday evening — nearly five hours after the south building was vacated — encouraging Newman students to seek alternative lodging options through friends and in the north building’s common areas and lounges.

Pisarczyk said water to the south building will be turned on either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning while contractors continue to clean water and ceiling residue from rooms.

“I’ve been here for 3 years, and this year’s flood was much worse than last year’s,” said Caleb Gray, junior in engineering and a resident advisor on the floor where the flood originated. “Most of our stuff was above ground level though, so we’re lucky that it wasn’t worse in our section.”

Pisarczyk said an email will be sent to south building residents Wednesday that will include an insurance claim form, allowing residents to claim reimbursement for items damaged in the flood. Pisarczyk could not confirm when residents would receive reimbursement for damaged items.

“It’s completely unprofessional,” said Chris Holman, sophomore in FAA and third floor resident of the south building. “It’s starting to become the annual flood, and it’s from the same pipe, so clearly they didn’t fix whatever was wrong the first time.”