Repair work underway for pipe leak and brick movement

James Manners works on the leaking pipes on Wednesday, Jan. 23. Photo by Brad Crofford.

By Brad Crofford, Editor-in-chief

In recent weeks, students may have noticed a large ice patch on one of the brick paths near the fountain. SNU Facilities Management has dug a large trench in the area in order to repair the leak that caused it.

James Manners, plumbing supervisor for Facilities Management, said the leaks were possibly the result of the plastic in the pipes responding to temperature changes since they were installed in 1999.

The fountain was emptied as the leak was being fixed. Facilities Management began digging the trench on Friday, Jan. 18. Manners estimated on Wednesday, Jan. 23 that while the leak could be fixed within the next few days, the process of filling the trench, stabilizing the ground, and replacing the bricks could take up to a couple of weeks.

“I would hope that it will not take that long, but as with most things, it depends on what other urgent situations might come up before we get this one completed that could pull us away,” Director of Facilities Management Ron Lester wrote in an email to The Echo.

The pipes provide the fountain with well water, and the repair work on the pipes should not affect other areas of campus, according to Manners.

Another recent change in Centennial Plaza that students may have noticed is the presence of blue beams on the outside of the Beaver Science Building.

“These steel columns are a remediation measure to correct an issue of movement in the brick veneer,” Lester said. “We considered options of full replacement of the veneer with window systems, which would have used these columns as design elements anyway, but we could not afford to do the full replacement at this time. We chose to use the columns that will at least correct the issue for now, and could potentially be left in place and used in the future full renovation of the existing Science building exterior.”