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Burst pipe in Pomerene Hall affects Ohio State’s Disability Services

A pipe burst in Pomerene Hall Jan. 10, affecting the Office of Disability Services most. Credit: Muyao Shen / Lantern reporter

A pipe burst in Pomerene Hall Jan. 10, affecting the Office of Disability Services most.
Credit: Muyao Shen / Lantern reporter

A pipe burst in Pomerene Hall Friday morning because of extremely cold weather, causing small-scale damage.

Patrick Dent, a maintenance crew leader from Ohio State’s Office of Facilities Operations and Development, said the burst happened at about 10 a.m. The pipe was a sprinkler head for a fire suppressant system.

“It was just a frozen sprinkler head that failed after it started to thaw and it flooded from the third floor stairwell down to the ground floor,” Dent said.

Lindsay Komlanc, spokeswoman for OSU Administration and Planning, said no classes were affected by the leak. She did not have information about the cost of the damage and repair Sunday afternoon.

Dent said the Office of Disability Services, which is located in the basement of Pomerene, was most affected by the burst.

“Some people’s desks got a little wet,” Dent said. “And we had some ceiling tiles that (we) have to replace.”

Komlanc said Friday the damage to Disability Services is expected to be repaired by Monday.

Dent said the root of the problem was the extremely cold weather Jan. 6 and 7.

Temperatures fell as low as minus 9 degrees Jan. 6 and 7. All of OSU’s campuses were closed because of the weather those two days.

“(The pipe) was outside against the wall of the third floor stairwell and there is no heating in this room,” Dent said. “When you have the kind of temperatures we had on Monday and Tuesday, pipes freeze, thing freeze and they don’t start to let loose or start leaking until it starts to thaw.”

Dent said it was lucky the Department of History of Art, also housed in Pomerene, was not affected.

“If it were to happen on that side of the building, where they have all the new art … that would cost thousands and thousands (of) dollars of damage,” Dent said.

Dent also said Facilities Operations and Development fixed the problem soon after it happened.

“(A coworker) was shutting down the fire suppressant system eight minutes later, and we had six or seven guys here picking out water from ceiling tiles,” Dent said. “Then the fire shop showed up, replaced the fire head and turned the fire system back on.”

Komlanc said this sort of incident is common when there is bad weather and OSU will have staff members checking around campus for problems to help reduce risk.

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