Two Floods, Ether Leak Strike Coad Science Building

Photo of the Coad Science Building
Photo courtesy of drstaiger.com

Multiple classrooms and offices were damaged on all three floors of the Coad Science Building after two separate water pipe bursts on Feb. 19 and Mar. 6.

The first incident caused the most significant damage, letting an estimated 10,000 gallons of water flood the building, according to Provost David Rehm.

The offices of Dr. Kathryn Dye, Dr. Abigail Kula, Dr. Luca Petrelli and Dr. Michael Turner were heavily impacted. Each lost personal and academic possessions along with pieces of research.

Student workers within the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics worked quickly to help the professors preserve their work, scanning documents into school computers and converting them into PDFs.

The second pipe leak in the science building wasn’t as severe as the first; the building suffered only minimal water damage.

“We are determined to have our offices and classrooms up and running like normal,” Dye said.

On Mar. 10, the building faced an unrelated problem in which ether gas from a lab experiment seeped into the building’s ventilation system.

A hazmat team was quickly called in. Emergency responders were able to eliminate the substance from the premises, making sure there was no trace of the gas in any of the rooms.

Mount administration has made an insurance claim for the damages to the building. According to Rehm, an insurance inspector surveyed the damages, and the insurance company will aid the Mount to help with repairs.

The university’s administration hopes to use the insurance claim money for the expenses needed to hang drywall and install carpeting for the building.

Rehm also stated that, from now on, the science building will require that those who are working with potentially harmful gases must conduct their experiments under a hood; this method will prevent any gases from being caught in the ventilation system.

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