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Leaky ceilings cause problems for Oaks residents

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by Tim Tevault
Staff Writer

Roof leaks plagued four buildings in the Oaks complex during February when winter storms hit La Verne.

Two of the rooms, occupied by juniors La Toya Faulkner and Ross Mathews, were affected inside their dorms when the leaks occurred.

Faulkner said she was sleeping when she noticed water dripping down from the roof. Feeling water all around her on the bed, she got up and moved over to her futon.

When morning came, Faulkner said she did not call the Office of Housing and Residential Life. Instead she called maintenance.

But according to Faulkner, because of lack of communication between housing and maintenance, she had to request a new, dry mattress from housing. She said that had she not gone to request her own mattress, she does not think that she would have received one.

When maintenance came to her room, they told her the “mildew-infested” mattress was still usable. But because Faulkner said she persisted, she was finally provided with a new one. Faulkner said she also had a soggy carpet, for which maintenance provided a humidifier.

One week later, everything dried up, but Faulkner was left with a dirty carpet. She said her room also shows signs of leaking. “There’s still some soft spots [on the ceiling],” said Faulkner.

Mathews also experienced his share of problems in his dorm. The leaks in his room, he said, started out as dark circles on the ceiling by the window. A piece fell out, creating a hole that leaked. The leak started on Feb. 10 and did not stop until that Monday afternoon.

To avoid getting water on the floor, he placed a trash can to collect the dripping water; six hours later, he said, it was full.

Mathews called the residential assistant on duty, who called maintenance. They could not fix the leak until the rain stopped. “I was so frustrated because no one could fix it,” said Mathews.

Director of Housing and Residential Life Julie Thurman Francisco said if students experience problems like those of Faulkner or Mathews, they are to call housing immediately. If a leak occurs overnight, when housing is closed, students are directed to call Campus Security. Maintenance will then be called, and they will come out and look for the source of the leak which, according to Beebe, is hard to find in the rain because there is so much water around.

Assistant Director of Maintenance Robert Beebe knows why there have been so many problems of this severity.

“When you get rains of this magnitude, it’s invariable you’ll get leaks,” he said. He also mentioned how the roofs were built flat and without a “certain membrane,” which allowed water to stagnate over time and leak out.

Beebe also mentioned plans for re-roofing the leaky roofs over the summer. In the last year and a half, Dailey Theatre and Stu-Han got new roofs, which actually dropped the amount of leaks compared to last year.

“We typically don’t like going up [on the roof] if it’s raining,” Beebe said. In fact, most of the leaks, which occurred as early as Feb. 10, could not be fixed until Feb. 15, when the storm passed.

As for damaged products in the dorm, it is not necessarily the school’s policy to replace materials damaged by water. Thurman Francisco said that the replacement policy is the same for items damaged by water as it is for items stolen. Renter’s insurance policies are available and insure any property not owned by ULV. On the other hand, anything owned by ULV, such as mattresses or desks, will be replaced free of charge.

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