News Briefs: Chapman Basement Flood

On Tuesday morning, water was discovered in the basement of Chapman Building (CGC), covering the floors of all classrooms. The source of the water break was a broken urinal handle. Facilities services suspects that the break was caused on purpose.

Jim Baker, director of Facilities Services, worked with TUPD to learn how the leak started.

“As of [Tuesday] afternoon, we’re leaning towards vandalism. One of the flush valves on the urinal in the men’s restroom — the handle where you normally flush — was impacted so hard that it broke the housing, which meant it was leaking immediately. Now, I want to emphasize we’re leaning in that direction, but I can’t say for sure,” Baker said.

According to Baker, Trinity’s water mitigation vendor, Blackmon Mooring, was on-sight Monday night. Right now, fans are being used to dry the area, and Facilities Services will use humidifier meters to check the moisture in the area.

“That’s how we adjust our process based on the moisture content. It tells us when we can shampoo with the antimicrobial agent and how much longer the fans need to run. That meter is the trigger for the next step in the whole process,” Baker said.

Additionally, during Monday night, another urinal leak was discovered in the Ruth Taylor Building.

“We had a subsequent event in the Ruth Taylor restroom where another flush valve was broken exactly like the one in Chapman. They broke it, and it leaked during the flushing cycle, but then it wasn’t broken enough that it wouldn’t reset. So, it flushed the normal duration, and then it stopped leaking,” Baker said.

Deneese Jones, vice president for Academic Affairs, sent an email to the student body at 6:26 a.m. on Tuesday morning explaining that classes held in the Chapman basement would be canceled.

“To accommodate this remediation and the present situation, the University will cancel all classes and other official university events scheduled for today, Oct. 1, in CGC 031, CGC 040 and CGC 045. Signage to that effect will be placed at the entrances to the buildings,” Jones wrote in an email. “Instructors are encouraged to communicate with their students regarding any course expectations or relevant information. Updates will follow as more information is made available.”

The earliest Baker foresees classes reopening is on Oct. 3 in the afternoon.