E7 undergoes repairs, displaces students

Classes resume in basement, first, second floors in technology building

do not enter—The east side of E7 on the fourth and third floor remains off limits to staff and students as clean-up and maintanence crews work to repare water damage. The building flooded when a bolt on one of the hinges that held sections of pipe together failed. CN/ Ivan Cazares

By Ivan Cazares

The E7 building partially reopened on Monday for classes in the basement, the first and second floors after the building flooded on Oct. 14.
The remaining 115 classes will continue to meet in temporary locations for the remainder of the week.
A list of where classes have been relocated to can be found posted in the entrance of E7.
The Adelante First-Year Experience Program might regain access to its office on the second floor today, Ruben Arenas, vice president of liberal arts and sciences, said.
However, as of now, most classes won’t regain access to the building until Monday at the earliest.
It’s the second time the building has flooded because of the failure of a link between sections of pipe.
The flood on Oct.14 originated on the fourth floor because of a corroded bolt on one of the hinges that hold sections of pipe together.
The first flood occurred in April 2012 in the E7 basement.
No details on what caused the failure were officially released, but Al Mah, former Plant Facilities general foreman, told Campus News in 2012 that sections of pipe had been improperly installed when the building was constructed.
Plant Facilities was able to contain the flood before major damage to the building could occur on both occasions.
The Photography Department reported $1,000 worth of printing supplies damaged in 2012, but no damage to the equipment of classes has been reported as a result of the 2019 flood.
“I don’t know how it happened. I’ve never seen anything like this,” Abel Rodriguez, Director of Plant Facilities, said. “In hindsight I wish they had given us stainless steel (bolts) rather than these plated ones.”
Rodriguez said the incident in 2012 affected a different system and that the two floods are unrelated.
The bolts used in E7 are plated galvanized steel, which is more prone to rust and corrosion than stainless steel.
However, the bolt should have been protected from water by a gasket on the hinge that failed.
Rodriguez said one of the bolts on hinges that hold sections of pipe together became abnormally corroded, which allowed water to leak through.
Had the situation not been discovered when it was, there could have been upward of 400 gallons of pressurized water purged into the building.
The majority of large buildings on campus are air conditioned using a central plant that pumps cold and hot water through large pipes rather than individual AC units.
The pipe system has a long lifespan, according to Rodriguez, but he pointed out that plant facilities has replaced other components in earlier stages of corrosion.
ELAC hasn’t received a final quote from its insurance company for the damage caused by the flood.
However, Rodriguez said the school’s $250,000 deductible will most likely cover all the damages.
“Abel Rodriguez and myself had an initial walk through with the insurance adjuster on Thursday, . He commented that, from his inspection, our facilities team did an excellent job by taking quick action. He believes the damages would have been far worse if our team wasn’t quick thinking,” Myeshia Armstrong, vice president of administrative services said via email.
“The bolt has been replaced in the affected area surrounding the pipe.As a precautionary measure, the entire pipeline was assessed by the vendor to ensure that other bolts were reviewed and/or replaced to avoid this situation in the future.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *