Irwin replacement slated for summer

Irwin replacement slated for summer


Freshman Katie Mercer’s ceiling was leaking right onto her roommate Kylie’s bed.

She didn’t know what else to do. She’d already been moved once because of the leakage.

“It’s kind of a hassle to have to move,” she said.

But she moved again. This time, she packed up all her belongings – all of her homework, her clothes, her food – and moved them from the third floor of Irwin Hall to a room on the second floor.

She wouldn’t have to worry about any more leaks this time.

During interterm, Mercer and her roommate switched rooms on the third floor, which wasn’t as difficult as carrying all their possessions down flights of steps like they had to do this time.

But Mercer and her freshman roommate Kylie Campbell were not the only Irwin residents to move because of roof leaks. Associate Dean of Students Teresa Clounch said 18 women have been moved in the hall this semester – though not all of them were moved because of leaks.

“There were a dozen other people moved at the same time,” Clounch said. “Some moved because of the roof leak. We wanted to get them into a safer and dryer place.”

The roof leaks began earlier this year, Director of Physical Plant Gary Walbridge said, and worsened due to the varying winter weather.

“The cold, long winter caused the roof to shift a little and open up some cracks,” Walbridge said.

Because of the leaks, Walbridge said Irwin would receive a new roof over summer break – at a cost of $85,000.

The current roof is probably more than 25 years old, Vice President of Financial Services Jo Adams said. Still, the university had not included the roof in its budget.

“Sometimes something like this happens and it requires us to reorganize,” Adams said. “…Commercial roofs usually last 30 years.”

Because the leakage started suddenly and unexpectedly, Adams said the school will take immediate action.

“We’ll contract out to a commercial company,” she said. “We tried to schedule it to be done over spring break.”

Walbridge said the replacement would only take a couple of weeks, but because of short notice, it must be put off until summer.

“The contractor has agreed to come out and patch it,” Adams said. “They’ll patch it and keep it dry until May.”

Or at least as dry as they can.

Freshman Reina Murphy has moved numerous times this semester due to mold and leaks.

“We came into our room and this orange watery goo was leaking,” she said. “We notified our RA and they told us the only option straightaway was to move to Denious (Hall).”

Murphy and her roommate Colleen Doran had no desire to leave their friends and move into Denious.

“It only leaked for like two days before we found another room to live in,” Murphy said.

Murphy said the worst part was moving all of her belongings up and down the steps.

“We’re two girls who aren’t especially strong. We couldn’t do it on our own.”