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Cause of Ohio State water main break remains a mystery

Daniel Chi / Asst. photo editor

People following the evolving story surrounding last week’s water main break on Ohio State’s campus are still left with questions more than a week later.
While the 2,000 evacuated students have all returned to their residence halls, Dave Isaacs, a Student Life spokesman, said in an email Friday afternoon the cause of break is still unknown, and the investigation surrounding will take some time.
“I do not anticipate a quick answer to that question,” Isaacs said in an email.
The students who were evacuated after a Sunday water main break got to return to their rooms Wednesday after three nights, but were without some basic amenities like access to hot water, drinking water, heating or air conditioning in their rooms.
Hot and drinkable water had returned to Park-Stradley hall, home to 1,200 students, by Friday afternoon.
To handle the water issues, Molly Ranz Calhoun, associate vice president of Student Life, said Wednesday the university had purchased about 3,300 bottles of water and 400 gallon jugs to be handed out to residents at the residence hall’s front desk.
Residents were advised to take showers at the RPAC until the water issue was fixed.
The students were still without working heating and cooling systems as of Friday, which Calhoun said could take weeks to repair.
The university is attempting to compensate students for the inconvenience of being without housing for three nights. Every resident of Park-Stradley will have $90, or $30 per night, credited to their university account.
It will cost the university about $108,000 to refund all 1,200 Park-Stradley residents.
About 2,000 total students were evacuated Sunday due to the water main break, including residents in Baker Hall East and West, who were permitted to return to their rooms Monday at 7 a.m.
The Ohio Union was also evacuated Sunday night but reopened Monday at 7 a.m.
Of the 2,000 evacuated students, only 150 to 200 students spent the first night evacuated, Sept. 16, in the RPAC. Others stayed with friends and family instead.
Park-Stradley opened Fall Semester after being closed for a year as part of a $171 million South Campus renovation project. The building was occupied for about a month before the water main break.


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