Leak causes up to $100,000 in damages

Jessie Hellmann

Security officers from the USI Department of Security discovered two classrooms, 10 offices and three floors damaged in the Business and Engineering Center (BEC) Sept. 11.

Security Officer Dustin Mellott found a leak while making the usual rounds at 4:46 a.m. Sunday in the BEC, Security Assistant Director Steve Bequette said.

Staff Architect and Construction manager Fred Kalvelage said a leak from a water line to an icemaker in a refrigerator caused the damages.

Physical Plant Assistant Director Miles Mann said the physical plant was notified by 6 a.m.

Mann said the waterline to the icemaker was on the second floor of BEC.

Room 1033 is a computer lab directly below where the leak occurred. 30 out of 35 computers had water damage. Room 0030 also experienced some water damage.

Richard Toeniskoetter, Executive Director of the Information Technology Department, said a number of the computers were removed because of water damage.

“They are currently in a closet until we work through an insurance claim,” Toeniskoetter said.

Mann said in the 23 years he has been here, the icemaker water line has done what none has done before.

“Out of the 542 icemakers all over campus and in the apartments not one of them has done damage,” Mann said.

Junior accounting major Tiffany Koewler said it “sucked” to have damages in a fairly new building.

“You wouldn’t expect this to happen in such a new building,” Koewler said.

Koewler’s class moved to across the hall in the BEC to Room 0003, but other classes had to go to other buildings.

Although the final bill has not arrived, Mann said he estimates $70,000 to $100,000 in damages.

Painting to finish up on construction started Friday, and they hope to have both classrooms available for classes mid-week, Mann said.

“We are lucky security found it when they did,” Mann said. “If they found it on Monday, so many more classrooms and offices would have been ruined.”