Calhoun leak damages student rooms

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After last week’s streak of rain showers, Brett Pierce ’06 noticed water dripping from the fireplace in his Calhoun College single this past Friday.

By Saturday, water had soaked through his ceiling and most of his floor was covered with wet plaster. In the course of an hour, the falling plaster had broken several picture frames on his mantle.

“It was really gross,” Pierce said. “I had to take chunks of my ceiling to the bathroom.”

While Calhoun, unlike most residential colleges, is not slated for renovation during this cycle of the University’s overhaul of residential facilities, several other leak incidents at the college and other buildings on campus this week may indicate a need for further repairs to the college. Calhoun was the first residential college to be renovated as part of the overhaul plan, in 1990.

Though an administrative assistant at the Calhoun Master’s Office and five building managers at Yale Physical Plant said they were unaware of any recent leaks in Calhoun, a University facilities supervisor said there were several rain-related problems developed in buildings on campus this week. The supervisor, who asked not to be named, said she knew of at least three “good-sized” roof leaks in Calhoun that have appeared in the past week.

“This was an unprecedented week with a lot of problems,” she said.

Pierce said he notified the Calhoun dean about his falling ceiling and was told to contact maintenance. Since then, Pierce said, he has talked on and off with maintenance workers and he expects the leak to be fixed in the near future, though repairs may be postponed until work is done on the exterior roof of the building.

“I have the impression it’s going to be taken care of,” Pierce said.

Similar leak problems have also occurred in departmental buildings — including Sloane Physics Lab — within the last week.

Garrett Wong ’09 said about 25 square feet were roped off in his physics lecture hall in Sloane because of fallen ceiling tiles, following the downpours last week.

In recent years, inclement weather has caused other problems in campus buildings. Last year, Timothy Dwight College had flooding problems because of frozen pipes, despite renovations to the college four years ago. The Timothy Dwight basement flooded two times last fall, and poor drainage cause a sewage backup that occurred near the dining hall.

Several students in Calhoun said they also remember ceilings leaking from rainstorms and frequent leaks in the basement last year. Pierce said the ceiling of two other rooms in his hallway were also leaking over the weekend.

Nathan Huttner ’06, one of the Calhoun residents who also had a roof leak in his room, said he decided not to report the incident. But he said he is unhappy with Calhoun’s overall condition.

“A lot of things speak of shoddy and rushed workmanship,” he said.

Pierce said he spent much of the weekend setting up buckets and towels to soak up the rain to combat the water streaming from his ceiling.

“It was a lot of hassle to deal with,” he said. “Not that we’re falling apart, but Calhoun has problems … [and] definitely needs to be renovated. I feel like obvious inequalities exist between colleges and that’s frustrating and seems unfair.”

But Matt Gummess ’08 said he thinks the problems in Calhoun are relatively minor compared to the leaks and floods in other colleges which have not yet undergone renovations.

Workers began repairs to the roof over a section of Calhoun on Monday.

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