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Minimal damage in Journalism Building after water line break

Leonardo Carrizo / For The Lantern

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Ohio State students navigating their new Spring Quarter schedules might have found additional obstacles in the Journalism Building Tuesday morning. Wet floor signs and the hum of floor driers were part of the scenery after a water supply line was severed in a conference room on the second floor, causing water to leak through to the first floor.

The water line ran to a kitchen sink in Room 217, a Criminal Justice Research Center (CJRC) conference room. The breakage was noticed at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday and reported to the OSU’s Facilities Operations and Development (FOD), said John Keller, an FOD operations leader.

“Damage at this point looks to be fairly minimal,” Keller said. “Some ceiling tile may need replaced and we already have carpets drying.”

The water supply line was replaced Tuesday afternoon.

Keller said a specialist from OSU’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) will conduct moisture sampling on areas of the building to assess any potential mold issues. This assessment’s outcome will determine the total repair costs.

Debbie Flower-Smith, an administrative associate in CJRC, said the conference room had been remolded in 2009.

“They hired outside contractors,” Flower-Smith said. “It was all new plumbing, we completely redid the room. We spent a lot of money to redo that room and make it into a conference room.”

FOD told Flower-Smith OSU would fix all plumbing this time, so she trusts it won’t happen again.

Keller said repair costs will be billed to CJRC because the conference room is a non-public area.

“It was just put in there three years ago, so it’s kind of odd for a line like that to go out,” Keller said. “It just severed, and then water went everywhere.”

Joe Szymczak, systems manager for the School of Communication, said the lead affected only one classroom, Room 106 on the first floor. A 9:30 a.m. class in that room had to be relocated, but the leaking stopped later in the day for other classes to continue.

Cushioned seats in the lobby were blocked off with plastic bags to keep students from sitting on the soggy seats.

Mahde Jallaq, a third-year in biology, witnessed some of the commotion as he studied in the Journalism Building lobby Tuesday morning.

“I’ve seen some professors come by and maintenance workers worried about wood in the ceiling and mold,” Jallaq said.

Szymczak said The Lantern business office on the second floor was hit with some leakage, but most of the damage was just wet carpet that needed to be aired out.

Kinjal Pandya, a third-year in psychology who works at The Lantern business office front desk, said when she came into work at 10:30 a.m. the carpets were wet so they had to move to a room across the hall.

“We don’t really keep anything important on the floor, so I don’t think anything is ruined,” Pandya said. “Right now we’re just waiting for everything to dry.”

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