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Water pipe burst leads to temporary flooding in the Cornell Campus Center

Photo by Alexander Knobloch

On the night of Feb. 2, an issue with a pipe in the Marketplace led to flooding and the closure of the building for the remainder of the night.

According to Assistant Vice President of Facilities Services Jeremy Williamson, “[The flood] was caused by an inspector’s test valve being left open by our fire protection vendor while they were servicing and refilling the system.”

Veronica Hidalgo, Dining Services director of operations, noted that when the event occurred, water began to flow out of the restrooms on the first floor of the dining hall, proceeding to travel into the dining room and down the stairs. 

As a result, the food was moved to tables in front of the building, and free food was also provided at Cornell Café and Lakeside’s Fox Lodge. Meanwhile, the water was pumped out of the dining hall by around 1 a.m. or 2 a.m., and the dining hall was dry when it reopened for breakfast later that morning.

Photo by Alexander Knobloch

“The good thing, in this case, is that I have an amazing team, so everybody who runs it jumps immediately because the more times that we didn’t act, the longer it would take to get everyone back on track,” Hidalgo said.

When the water was pumped out, the dining area was left otherwise unaffected, though other parts of the building were not as fortunate.

“Water impact and damage was focused primarily to the area of the test valve (above the Student Affairs suite), affecting ceiling tiles and several areas of drywall,” said Williamson.

According to Williamson, Facilities Services is consulting their fire protection vendor to help prevent similar incidents from happening again. There is also a general awareness among staff following the incident.

“Rollins is such an amazing community that everybody jumped together and understood that accidents happen,” Hidalgo said. “The whole thing about this is that everybody jumped and everybody wanted to take care of things.”

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