Kristen Mitchell / Senior Lantern reporter
Page Hall, home of the John Glenn School of Public Affairs, was closed Thursday due to a nearby underground waterline burst.
“We had a two-inch water line in the tunnels to Orton Hall and it ruptured,” said Jeff Mullins, manager of utilities services. “The water got accessibly high in the tunnel up to the steam line.”
Steam leaked into Page Hall, activating the fire alarms at roughly 9:30 a.m. Bob Armstrong, director of emergency management and fire prevention said “several dozen” people were evacuated from the building, which was closed for the rest of the day.
“I got here about 20 minutes to 11 (a.m.) and saw the police tape,” said Jamie Levine Daniel, a Ph.D. candidate in public affairs. “I got an email from John Mills, the building director, that explained about boilers and flooding and sprinklers.”
Officials said no damage was done to Page Hall, but specifics about the cause and the cost of the pipe burst were directed to Mills, who did not return requests for comment.
Some students were scheduled to have exams in the building Thursday, and were surprised when they arrived to find the building closed.
“I walked up to the building and everyone was standing outside,” said Taylor Moront, a fourth-year in economics. “My teacher didn’t even know what was going on.”
Moront was scheduled to have a midterm for her economics 583 class. “I wasn’t about to ask questions, so I just walked away.”
Ohio State facilities operations and development employees worked throughout the afternoon pumping water out of the tunnel. Although Mullins said the water leak had been fixed, he was unsure when the building would reopen when he spoke in the early afternoon.
“It might steam a little more until the insulation on the steam line dries out, then it will quit steaming,” Mullins said. “It should be closed most of the day (Thursday).”
Armstrong said all classes Friday will be relocated, despite the building reopening that morning.