Ruptured Pipes Cause Thousands of Dollars in Damage

by Lilyn Opal and Emily Mosier

Two Troy University buildings sustained thousands of dollars of damage after low temperatures caused water lines to rupture. 

In December, freezing temperatures caused a sprinkler line to burst in Trojan Village 300 and a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning line to burst in Long Hall.

“I was overwhelmed,” said Dr. Hiu-Ting Yang, interim director of the John M. Long School of Music. “On Christmas Eve, I got a text message from my colleague that read ‘call me and call 911,’ so I was scared someone was hurt.”

Yang said that after arriving on campus, she immediately ran from room to room to scope out the damages.

Several practice rooms and offices had flooding four inches deep. Instruments, uniforms, files and other equipment, including custom marimbas, xylophones and timpanis, sustained damages totaling more than $50,000.

These instruments were insured, and the School of Music has already taken steps toward acquiring replacements with plans to donate the damaged instruments.

Yang called music major Jacob Ammons, a sophomore from Niceville, Florida, “a true hero” after he discovered the flooding Christmas Eve while practicing.

When I saw the water, my heart dropped to me feet,” Ammons said. “I had some awful feeling that the leak was coming from the percussion studio, and lo and behold, it was.

“It shook me for a while, but eventually I got to the point where I could focus on moving things to make sure they couldn’t get more damaged.”

The damage in Trojan Village was severe enough that two students had to relocate to other dorms the first week of the spring semester.

The water line was located on the top floor of the dorm, allowing water to travel to every floor below and causing damage to eight rooms. 

Robert Burkey, executive director of facility operations at Troy University, said the financial cost of the dorm’s damages is still being determined, but students will be able to move back into the rooms by the end of spring semester. 

“All of the walls and ceiling were removed, dried out and treated to prevent mold and mildew issues,” Burkey said. “We also have a third party vendor to check and test for mold and mildew as the reconstruction is being done.”

According to Burkey, there has never been water damage this severe on campus before, but preventative measures will be taken in the future.“If we experience the extremely cold temperatures we did in December, we will increase our monitoring of all buildings when they are not occupied,” Burkey said.

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