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Repairs are ongoing at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) due to flooding caused by harsh weather conditions in late December 2022. 

The freezing temperatures, snow, and ice caused 26 locations on campus, including dorms , offices and instructional buildings to require repairs. Most of the repairs are minimal, said Bryan Makinen, associate vice president of Public Safety. 

“These ranged from a small HVAC unit leak in a singular space to more widespread water line breaks,” Makinen said.

The Begley Building was most impacted by the winter weather, with breaks in sprinkler and domestic water lines. The majority of repairs have been assessed and completed with the exception of the Begley Building, Commonwealth, and Cammack which are currently undergoing structural repairs. Commonwealth is estimated to be completed within three weeks while Cammack and Begley are currently being worked on until further notice, Makinen said.

Staff and faculty members working on the first and second floors of Commonwealth have experienced several changes due to the ongoing renovations. When repairs began in the building, staff and faculty were told to work from home for a couple of days due to safety concerns.

“We are on the second floor just like where the construction’s going on, and so we’ve had to kind of just adjust and tell people that the doors on the side are open — just come in through the side doors,” said Courtney Collins, director of Parking and Transportation Services. 

Prior to these events, EKU Facilities Management attempted to prepare for possible damage to buildings on campus. 

“EKU Facilities Management — worked before Christmas, Christmas Day and after at preheating our buildings, and they preheated them to the extent practical because our systems vary across campus,” said Makinen. 

EKU Facilities Management worked with the centralized heating plant on campus to work with the boiler systems in order to provide an efficient preparation process. 

“The central heat plant team worked to slowly raise the temperature and pressure of the main boilers so that there would not be a shock to the system with a rapid decline in temperatures,” Makinen said.

“Starting at about 2:30 in the morning on Dec. 26, the day after Christmas, we had teams that worked seamlessly, known as One Eastern, to come together and respond to what was occurring,” said Makinen. 

These response teams consisted of Facilities Management, EKU Public Safety and Police Department, Aramark and third-party vendors such as Greenscape and Servpro.

“They worked … several days and long hours to mitigate the issues that had occurred, so from EKU’s Facilities Management, we had plumbers, electricians; we had housing maintenance personnel in here all working seamlessly together to ensure that we had the best possible and quickest response to the situation at hand,” said Makinen. 

Makinen and the teams that performed the preventative maintenance wanted to ensure a positive outcome to December’s freezing weather events.

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