Massive Snowfall, Ice Causing Dorm Leaks

BY ALANA SANTOS // FEB. 16, 2015 //

Most students have enjoyed the many snow-day class cancellations this semester. But it seems the snow is finally raining on some students’ parades. Or, at least, dripping on them.

Fifteen residence hall rooms have experienced water damage and leakage from snow buildup and ice dams on the roofs. Ten rooms were affected in Lombard, three in Mayflower, and one each in Green House and 886 Brush Hill Road.

Although the affected residents were offered temporary housing options in their own residence halls, that’s the only thing they’ll receive for their dripping wet troubles. According to Fran Jackson, director of communication at Curry, none of the students inconvenienced by the leaks and water damage will receive compensation. But they also won’t be charged additional fees for any temporary room upgrades, she added.

Although college officials have deemed the leaking rooms safe to live in, walls and ceilings will still need to be scraped down, repaired and repainted...a messy and time-consuming process.

Although college officials have deemed the leaking rooms safe to live in, walls and ceilings will still need to be scraped down, repaired and repainted…a messy and time-consuming process.

For freshmen roommates Shauna Nickerson and Danielle Montella, it has been a frustrating week.

“Friday morning (Feb. 6) at 1 a.m. I was sleeping and water started dripping on my head,” said Nickerson, a nursing major who lives in Lombard.

She said she was forced to set up buckets to catch falling water. Nickerson contacted Building and Grounds and said she was advised to move her bed to the middle of her room, keep her light off, and tough it out until the damage could be assessed. In the meantime, Nickerson moved in with a friend at North Campus Residence Hall before she was offered alternative housing days later.

The damage “started at the window and worked its way across the ceiling, down the wall, and into the light fixture, which broke and started leaking a lovely yellow color,” said Montella, also a nursing major. She noted that water bubbles had formed on the walls and ceiling, and they eventually popped, omitting a foul smell.

Montella reached out to her community director as well as Public Safety because she was afraid of an electrical hazard since water began to collect in the light fixture. She said she was told to be patient, as buildings throughout campus were experiencing leaks. A day later, when no one had come to inspect the damage, Montella had her mother call the college. The following day Buildings and Grounds finally arrived.

Montella said her mother was not happy having to step in and contact school officials.

“They didn’t offer me alternative housing until I had already decided to move out,” said Montella. “Shauna’s stuff was getting leaked all over and I had basically had enough by then.”

Snowfall throughout eastern Massachusetts this year has already reached historic levels, with a record-breaking 89 inches in Boston alone.

“I understand it isn’t the college’s fault, but they took too long to deal with the problem,” said Montella, who has opted to move back home and commute to Curry for the remainder of the semester. “And [they] identified the room as safe to stay in when, in my opinion, it wasn’t.”

The entire region has been digging out from the unprecedented amount of snow over the past month. On campus, the Buildings and Grounds crew has worked tirelessly to clear roads, walkways, stairs, and parking lots, said Jackson. To help with the leaks, the college has turned to outside resources to further assist with the snow and ice removal from building rooftops.

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