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The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

University will evaluate Mitchell Hall pipes following flood

Sophomore Miles Kaufman and Chloë Troia, a junior at American University, survey the damage a busted pipe caused in Mitchell Hall. Water flooded the seventh floor of the residence hall Sunday afternoon. Michelle Rattinger | Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Samantha Stone

Facilities services will investigate the condition of Mitchell Hall’s piping system this summer, after a burst pipe in a room controlling heating, venting and air conditioning on the building’s seventh floor caused serious flooding earlier this week.

Water seeped down to the third floor Sunday, covering the hallways and elevators with water, some of which leaked into students’ rooms. Though no students were forced to relocate from the 82-year-old building, University spokeswoman Jill Sankey said facilities will examine the pipes later this year when the building is offline.

Sankey said the leak “was due to a leak in the HVAC riser water supply pipe which may have resulted from a variety of factors.”

The University declined to release an estimate of the cost for damage and clean-up of Sunday’s incident.

Sankey said Tuesday that physical damage was minimized due to a quick response after a student called Facilities’ Fix-It service.  She later said the impact was mostly confined to the seventh floor’s hallway carpet and repairs were made to the mechanical closet where the leak originated within a day.

One seventh floor resident, sophomore Spencer Gross, said he lives right outside the HVAC room where the pipe broke.  The flood leaked into his room but didn’t cause any major damage, Gross said.

“Water made its way about a foot into my room but all it did was dampen my carpet,” Gross said.

Sankey said there have been ” few pipe-related water incidents” in residence halls during this academic year.

In October, rooms across multiple floors of Amsterdam Hall—built just 14 years ago—were flooded due to a burst pipe. A water leak caused by a hole in the heating, ventilating and air conditioning supply line of Mitchell Hall also flooded rooms last April.

Overflowing fixtures, accidental damage or vandalism to sprinkler heads has caused most of the past flooding, Sankey said.

“Also, the university replaces building pipes throughout the campus as part of its continual capital improvements program,” Sankey said.

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