This story has been updated to include more current information.
Cold weather caused a pipe to burst in the entryway of the Grewcock Student Union Monday around 11 a.m.
Water flooded the union entrance near Mossey Library, causing students to have to use the back entrance. Maintenance workers immediately began clearing the water from the doorway. Water was also seen in a downstairs maintenance room.
“I was in the room when it started flooding, so I got pretty wet,” junior Jake Sievers said in a Facebook message. “I don’t know if anyone else got spilled on. As soon as I went through the doors, I pulled out my phone and started recording and that’s when the fire alarm went off.”
The drop in pressure caused by the cold weather caused a pipe within the emergency sprinkler system to burst and water to pour from the ceiling, according to Associate Director of Security Joey Kellam.
“It’s just the cold temperature,” Kellam said.
With the abundance of cold air in the high traffic area, the heating system just couldn’t keep up, Kellam added.
The accident set off the fire alarm system, causing students and staff inside the Knorr Family Dining Hall to evacuate the building. Students waited outside for about ten minutes, according to Bon Appétit Management Company employee Liz Maynard, until they were let in through the back entrance.
“I was in Saga grabbing a table when the alarms started going off,” sophomore Dennis Fassett said in a Facebook message. “We all thought it was just a drill because it always is, but eventually people started clearing out and we left too. I went to grab my coat and bag in A.J.’s and saw the water and part of the ceiling fall from that area.”
Students were able to access the dining hall through the downstairs entrance until maintenance fixed resulting heating and water issues later Monday afternoon.
“Everything is good to go. Everything is taken care of,” maintenance employee Brian Frank said.