Iowa State University

Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, manager,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

12-27-04

Contacts:

Todd Holcomb, Department of Residence, (515) 294-4420

Ginny Arthur, Department of Residence, (515) 294-6428

Rebecca Adair, Risk Management, (515) 294-5315

Annette Hacker, News Service, (515) 294-3720

ISU's Larch Hall sustains damage from frozen, broken pipes

AMES, Iowa -- Larch Hall, part of a residence complex on the east side of the Iowa State University campus, sustained an undetermined amount of water damage on Christmas day due to broken pipes.

The leaking pipes were discovered shortly after 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 25, when Iowa State University Police responded to an automated alarm. Heat coils on the first and fifth floors of Larch Hall froze and broke, the apparent result of two windows being left open in the building over the holiday break.

Most of the student residents had checked out of their rooms on or before Dec. 17; however, nine remained in the building through Dec. 24.

More than 20 maintenance workers, custodians, residence life and risk management staff spent Christmas day mopping and vacuuming water, pulling up carpeting and assessing the damage. The entire first floor was covered with several inches of water. The Larch Hall director's apartment, first floor commons and den area, and 72 rooms on the first through fifth floors sustained varying levels of water damage.

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Holcomb, who also is interim director of the Department of Residence, says he expects the loss to the university to be less than $100,000; however, damages are still being assessed.

Residence staff members are contacting affected students to notify them of the damage to their rooms.

"We are trying to do everything possible to help students with clean-up efforts and in assessing the extent of damage to personal belongings," said University Risk Manager Rebecca Adair.

Affected residents of Larch Hall are being encouraged to return to campus prior to the start of spring semester to inspect their belongings, clean their clothes and bedding, and check any electronic equipment for damage. The Department of Residence has made arrangements for the students to launder and dry their clothing in Larch Hall at no charge. If the students need to stay overnight in Ames, rooms will be provided at the Memorial Union hotel (for a maximum of two nights) at no charge. Larch Hall is inhabitable while cleaning and carpet replacement continue over the next several days.

The Department of Residence expects to complete repairs in Larch Hall by the time ISU students return for the spring semester. The building will open Thursday, Jan. 6; spring semester begins Monday, Jan. 10.

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