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Bursting Pipes and Water Issues on Campus

Brennan Kauffman ‘20

Staff Writer

On Jan. 18  pipes were burst in Deegan West, a dorm on Merrimack’s campus. This resulted in several student’s belongings being damaged. There were also water incidents at the Sakowich Campus Center and South Residential House Two. On Jan. 22, a sprinkler head burst near the main entrance of Sakowich. A day later, the same problem occurred in South Residential House Two. The sprinkler incidents did not result in the same level of damage as Deegan.

Room damage varied by those affected. All damaged personal items were brought to a classroom in Deegan West where students then decided which items to keep and which items to throw away.

“My rug got soaking wet, so I decided to throw it out. My HDMI cord also got wet, so I threw it out. Anything that we threw out the person who was with us asked how much it cost and they gave us a gift card to replace it,” said Tori Katz. Katz was shocked to see how damaged everything was in the common room.

Students say Merrimack College handled the situation well in terms of reimbursing students for damaged items, and they made sure to put dryers in the damaged rooms and hallways to dry everything as quickly as possible to prevent further damage.

Residence Life emailed students explaining that the main cause behind the bursting pipes are open windows and doors during the winter months. Residence Life asked students to keep their windows closed. It’s also important for everyone on campus to close any exterior doors they may find open.

“Not just students leave windows and doors open in the winter and things freeze, and when pipes freeze they burst,” said James Chiavelli, who is the spokesperson for Merrimack College. “We have 43 or 44 buildings on campus, and at any one time something can go wrong. I own a house, something goes wrong at least once a winter. So, we keep on top of it, but something can go wrong.”

According to Chiavelli, the school upgrades and replaces things when accidents happen. They have a maintenance schedule in which the school upgrades the facilities, including piping.