The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Corroded pipe bursts, floods Binford hall

At around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, Devin Swanson returned to his room in Binford hall to discover what he described as a waterfall coming from above the window. The light fixture was filled with water and dripping. Pieces of ceiling were falling. Water was dripping onto his roommate’s desk, which housed his laptop, speakers, and iPod.

“My first reaction was ‘Are you serious?’ As I walked in the door I heard ‘tap tap tap tap’ from the recycling bin and thought it was some sort of animal,” said first-year Swanson, former resident of the first floor. “Until I looked up and saw drops coming from the ceiling around the bed and closet.”

A corroded pipe inside the wall caused water to cascade from the third floor to the basement. Water soaked the carpets and students’ belongings in three rooms straight down and seeped into a fourth room on the first floor.

“The room smelled so bad my chest hurt to breathe the air,” said Joshua Payne, first-year and third floor Binford resident. “Next thing you know, the whole hallway smelled like my room.”

Because of the weekend and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, affected students were told by R.A.s to stay with friends until the problem was fixed. It took until Tuesday, Jan. 17 for the carpets to be cleaned and the water to be removed from the dorms.

“Mechanical systems behind walls – you don’t know. You can only imagine on a campus this big how many we have. But we try,” said Randy Rasmussen, Maintenance Supervisor.

The Binford R.A.s called the Office of Public Safety, who then sent an officer to asses the problem. The officer then called facilities and the water was turned off. However, the rooms were not cleaned or sanitized until Tuesday.

Gerald Little, Director of Environmental Services, returned to work Tuesday to find an angry message from a parent on his voicemail.

“I think we’re actually very punctual when addressing issues like this,” said Little. “Because it was the holiday and the staff was off when we got the messages, it was late.”

He added that his voicemail message lists an emergency number where he can be reached on his cell phone. He explained that if people had listened to his entire voicemail message, he could have been contacted sooner. Public Safety also has a list of maintenance staff cell phone numbers in case of emergency when the usual procedure of an R.A. filling out a work order is insufficient.

“I was absolutely confused about why I didn’t hear about it until Tuesday,” said Little.

Some students affected by the water were moved to rooms in Milner and Shore, because of the smell. Students with damaged belongings – namely, electrical equipment – could file a report to be reimbursed for anything that stopped working due to water damage.

“I’m really sad about it, because my floor got it the worst out of all of them,” said R.A. Diesel Robertson. “And my floor has a really good community, but we’ve lost four people.

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