Baumhart undergoes repairs

Senior Audrey Bailey's kitchen was removed while her room underwent repairs to fix the water damage. Photo by Grace Runkel.

More than a week after a broken toilet caused water damage to 13 floors of Baumhart Hall, residents are still waiting to find out details about the repairs.

Baumhart residents reported water damage to the Office of Residence Life the morning of Jan. 19, and were later notified in an email that the damage was mainly confined to the 08 rooms on floors 10 through 23.

The source of the water came from a broken toilet on the 23rd floor. A crack in the front reservoir allowed water to leak out of the toilet for an unknown amount of time until facilities turned off the water that morning, according to Cas Coughlin, director of Residence Life.

Coughlin also said 20 rooms have been impacted, to varying degrees, and 60 residents have been affected.

“[The length of repairs] will vary a little from room to room. Overall length will be as long as it takes to fully address the situation. We’re just about 8-9 days into work,” said Coughlin in an email to The PHOENIX.

Tyrone Newsome, associate director of Housing Operations, said a “handful” of residents had to be relocated. Newsome and Coughlin did not give a full report of the damage or an estimated cost of repairs. However, Coughlin did say the rooms affected have been dried out and the damaged parts are being replaced.

“We’ll have to see how this week progresses because things can come up,” said Newsome.

CAT 5 Restoration –– the company Loyola hired to repair the damage –– was unable to release any details of the project due to confidentiality agreements. A Loyola spokesperson offered to give a statement regarding the repairs, but it was not completed in time for print.

Graduate student Stephanie Birmingham told The PHOENIX in an email she was frustrated with the lack of communication between Residence Life and Campus Safety when the problem was first reported.

“I also was not impressed with the reply from the person who answered the phone when I called Campus Safety. That said, I am well aware that it was a stressful and confusing time for many, so I can appreciate that people were juggling many things at once,” said Birmingham.

However, once Residence Life and Campus Safety responded to her report, Birmingham, who uses a wheelchair, said they were quick to provide her with the necessary accommodations.

“Overall, I am very grateful for the assistance that was provided to physically move my personal belongings from the damaged apartment to my new temporary location, as well as the quick work of Res Life staff and facilities to make accessibility accommodations to my new room,” she said. “Res Life staff were very helpful with this, especially given my limitations since I use a wheelchair.”

Sophomore Robbie Englert, another Baumhart resident, has yet to be relocated since the water damage occurred.

The 20-year-old finance major said that workers came in last Monday to drain the water and moved all his furniture into a corner to make space for the dryer fans.

Although the fans have since been removed, Englert said he has not been told whether or not he will be relocated for the rest of the repairs.

Senior Audrey Bailey woke up to pools of water in her bedroom and living room.

“We were in here from Monday to Thursday without getting reassigned a room. In that time they had already started drilling holes in the floorboards, and they put up huge fans in our room that go 24/7 to try to dry it out. In that four-day span they didn’t give us a new room. They didn’t relocate us. We were supposed to live here during that time,” said the 22-year-old journalism major.

It wasn’t until Thursday evening Bailey and her roommates received a call saying they would be relocated. As of print time, Bailey had not been told when she would be able to return to her room.

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