By Vin Gallo
A 1 a.m. downpour incited flash flood warnings across Hamden County and triggered early morning severe weather alerts, pummeled the Springfield College campus on Tuesday night, and left a significant amount of water seeping into the new Harold C. Smith Learning Commons. Facilities began working on clean-up efforts Wednesday morning and state the drying will continue through today.
The water began to pool while students were working in the building on Tuesday evening. Learning Commons director Andrea Taupier applauded the efforts of all students on duty.
“I would like to thank our student employees who were on duty last night – Philip Ordonez, Rachel Gustafson, and Sam Santich,” she said. “They quickly realized the situation, called Campus Safety, and assisted students to leave the building through the emergency exits. I’m very proud of them.”
Through the communications department, facilities issued a statement that the only effect to the building from the build-up was water across the floor and and a small amount of mold.
Despite campus-wide student concern about the Commons being constructed in between two hilly areas of the college, Executive Director of Communications Steve Roulier does not believe the flooding was a result of the structure.
“Weather happens,” he said. “No one anticipated the Springfield area would get that much rain. Three of our building have water – Locklin, the Learning Commons, and [the Living Center]. I don’t think there’s any design flaws or anything like that.”
Through Associate Director Damon Markiewicz, Greg Walters, Director of Facilities Management echoed Roulier’s assurance. “Facilities don’t consider it a design flaw – that they can assure. They’re still going through the water build up and the reasons of that. They believe it has something to do with the street, but nothing to do with the design.”
Facilities stated there will be further updates and explanation later in the week.
“It’s not like this is the only building that had water,” said Markiewicz. “We’re just one of multiple buildings I’m sure. But Mother Nature did this not a lack of design or flaw.”