April 12, 2004

Computer Lab Ceiling Caves in; Room Floods

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Enjoying a particularly clear Sunday, students working in the Robert Purcell Community Center CIT computer lab yesterday afternoon experienced some unexpected showers.

At around 4:55 p.m., a leakage in one of the lab’s pipes led to the collapse of the room’s ceiling. Students at the scene including Amy Cooper ’06, said that students needed to climb over desks to avoid the water flooding which accumulated on the carpet. “The roof was leaking and it smelled like sewage,” Cooper said. “It smelled really bad.”

The incident occurred after water dripping from the ceiling eventually caused a tile to drop, although the exact source of the damage is not known, said Linda Grace-Kobas, director of Cornell News Service.

According to Cooper, the room was even more difficult to leave because there was only one door through which students could exit. She said that she “didn’t know what to do” and added that the computer lab operator at the time was not present.

Water damage and a wet carpet seemed to be the only major consequences of the incident, as Grace-Kobas said that the 34 computers and three printers in the lab were not damaged.

“We didn’t know what was going on, and then one of the ceiling tiles fell through,” Rachel Turner ’06 said.

Even though the lab is mostly used by North Campus’s first-year Cornellians, many students, including Turner, use the computer lab to print their documents or do group projects. Turner said that in addition, some of her friends were planning to hike down to the lab early this morning for the Class of 2006’s CoursEnroll sign-up.

Next for the University will be assessing what happened in this situation, according to Grace-Kobas. She said that members of facilities and maintenance will continue their efforts in drying out the water and have the ceiling tiles replaced.

Several facilities and maintenance crew members came to the scene after the incident occurred, cleaning up the excess water and drying up the carpets. They declined to comment.

“I use RPU and the computer lab a lot, but I guess I will have to work around that,” Turner said.

Archived article by Brian Tsao
Sun Senior Editor