Winter weather causes roof damage on campus


A pedestrian walks across the street in downtown Scranton, Pa., on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019. A major winter storm brought some of the coldest temperatures of the season and covered a large swath of the country in snow as it wreaked havoc on air travel and caused slick road conditions throughout New England Sunday. (Butch Comegys/The Times-Tribune via AP)

Alexandra Sobczak

At least 13 Kent State buildings reported leaks to University Facilities Management (UFM) after Winter Storm Harper swept through Kent last weekend.

The leaks were caused by “ice damming” on the roofs of buildings, which prevents melting snow from draining off a roof, said Roy Christian, the director of operation and grounds.

Beall, Rockwell, Bowman and the Center for the Performing Arts were among the 13 buildings affected. The buildings called in leaking issues between Jan. 21 and 23, according to the call log at UFM. The Center for the Performing Arts had leaks in multiple locations.

Franklin Hall also had a leak, and UFM arrived within half an hour of its report, said Jessica VonGunten, the administrative clerk in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

When a leak is reported, UFM investigates the report and then removes whatever is causing the backup on the roof.

Any reports of leaks directly put into the UFM work order system were not immediately accessible.

“It was a unique weather event,” Christian said. “You tend not to get a rollercoaster weather event like this that has a lot of snow, cold weather, a lot of rain and snow again.”

Alexandra Sobczak is a general assignment reporter. Contact her at [email protected].