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Pipe damage floods B building

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Large blue fans fill the halls of B building as restoration begins after a damaged pipe flooded the third floor Saturday afternoon, resulting in extensive water damage.

A third-party contractor damaged a one inch main water line while tiling the third floor bathroom. It took 30 minutes for the water shut-off valve to be located, at which time the damaged pipe pumped an estimated 50 gallons of water per minute into the building. The subcontractor was the only contractor on site that morning.

“They called security and security got the facilities person in touch with them, but it took a little while for the instructions to reach the people on site,” said Dave Pinton.

The subcontractor was overseen by Dawn Construction. The company had been contracted for a variety of summer renovation projects throughout the campus, including the new Information Technology Services (ITS) helpdesk, the new assessment services facilities, new D building classrooms, and office and washroom improvements.

Remediation is underway, but early estimates of the damage indicate the work will not be done for six to eight weeks. The initial process of drying is expected to be complete by this weekend.

Damage was concentrated in the south of the building, with the highest amount of damage on the third and fourth floors.  

“Water flows downhill, as it does, and the impact was significant, not only on our faculty and staff but also on some of our infrastructure, like our ITS offices,” said Pinton.

No classrooms were damaged, and the cafeteria and lecture hall (B101) are operational. The S’eliyemetaxwtexw Art Gallery was undamaged by the flood, but a nearby art locker is being assessed for damaged, according to Pinton.

The ITS offices and common area received heavy damage. The ITS helpdesk has a temporary location for walk-in tech assistance in the Alumni Hall, outside the Office of the Registrar.   

The AV tech room, advancement offices, and many faculty offices also suffered heavy damage.

Those with damaged offices have been directly contacted to record damage to their office and retrieve personal items. Temporary work spaces are being set up for those unable to work in their offices.

“Many people are working from home in some cases,” said Pinton. “In other cases they’ve doubled up with other people whose offices weren’t damaged. The university has also got an inventory of extra space and computer resources in some cases.”

The patience and consideration showcased by those impacted by last weekend’s flooding in Building B has been exemplary,” Dr. Joanne Maclean, UFV president, said in an address over email.

“While it’s not the way we envisaged the fall kicking off, this certainly isn’t a challenge we can’t overcome.”

There are no current monetary estimates for the full extent of the damage.

Images: UFV (flooding) & The Cascade (fans)

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