Rainfall, sprinkler system damage campus buildings


Lecture hall classes in the College of Dentistry were temporarily relocated after record rainfall flooded the building.


Water from two different sources — heavy rainfall and a sprinkler fire-suppression system — damaged two buildings on the west side of campus last week.

All five floors of the College of Dentistry were damaged after record rains the night of Aug. 17 seeped under tarps covering rooftop ventilation equipment under renovation as part of a college-wide construction project.

Water flowed into the building, damaging a lecture hall, instrument sterilization room, group practice clinic, supply and storage areas and offices. Dental clinics were closed for a day-and-a-half as staff re-sterilized and repackaged instruments. Lecture hall classes were temporarily relocated.

College operations are back to normal, said Bill Bike, director of advancement communications.

Cost of the flood damage may turn out to be “in six figures, if not more,” said College of Dentistry Dean Clark Stanford.

Rooms on 13 floors of the 16-floor Single Student Residence Hall were damaged by the fire suppression sprinkler system, triggered by a minor cooking fire Aug. 15, then another Aug. 24.

About a dozen of the 350 students living in SSR will be relocated on campus for repairs, either temporarily or for the year, said Campus Housing assistant director Nick Ardinger.

The first incident affected several rooms on each floor from the ninth floor to the basement. Contractors were working on cleanup and repairs when the second incident occurred, affecting several rooms on each floor from 13 down to five.

SSR is an apartment building that houses graduate and professional students and older undergraduates. The first to fourth floors are used as guest housing for campus and the Illinois Medical District.

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