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Memorial evacuated after flood

Nov. 7, 2006

Melea Burke/Lariat staff
Employees of Target Restoration remove damaged carpeting Monday from the flooded fourth floor of Memorial Residence Hall. The hall's sprinkler system malfunctioned at about 11 p.m. Sunday and damaged property on four floors of Memorial.


While most students experienced rain walking to class Monday, students in Memorial Residence Hall experienced their own rain showers Sunday night.

According to Campus Living and Learning, sprinkler heads on the fourth floor of the hall failed around 11 p.m. Sunday, causing flooding in rooms on the east side of the building. Students' belongings, including computers, printers, clothes and bedding, were damaged by the water.

Students waited outside for 30 minutes after a fire alarm triggered by the draining water sounded throughout Memorial Residence Hall and stayed in their friends' rooms for the rest of the night, Alan freshman Patty Leeke said.

The fourth-floor room, where the flooding began, is used for studying and student group meetings, and before the Panhellinic building was constructed it served as a meeting room for sororities. The water damaged all three floors below the wing after it ran down the drainage system and into residents' rooms.

Seguin freshman Sherrie King had rugs ruined by the water. Students around her had computers, shoes and many other personal items damaged.

"I am kind of irritated. I pay $30,000 a year to stay in a room. You would think they would have the plumbing under control," King said. King did compliment the maintenance staff for their hard work cleaning up overnight.

Joe Bruner, assistant director for resident learning, said Target Restoration is doing their best to clean up the mess. Campus Living and Learning has put a reimbursement program in place to pay for damages to students' belongings. Students have been asked to make a list of all the damages and costs they have suffered due to the flooding.

After the list is finished, Baylor will reimburse students for any items damaged by the flooding.

"The sooner we get the claims, the faster the process," Bruner said.

This is not the first residence hall flood to affect Baylor students. A similar flood occurred last year at Allen Residence Hall.

That flood, however, was caused by a student tampering with the sprinkler system. According to Campus Living and Learning, the student's home- owners insurance paid for the damage.

Some students were allowed to move back into their rooms Monday in the residence hall, but some continue to share a room until the damage to their rooms is repaired.