Sinkhole closes Student Center, power restored

Kent State employees examine a sinkhole that opened up in an area between the student center and M.A.C. Center, caused by a waterline break. As a result, power was lost in the Student Center, M.A.C. Center, and M.A.C.C. Annex, Wednesday morning, March 12, 2014. All three were closed Wednesday due to the power loss, and as a safety precaution.

Emily Mills

Power was restored to the Kent State Student Center at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday evening.

The Kent Student Center closed all day Wednesday because of a water line break between the Student Center and the M.A.C. Center. A sinkhole has also opened up in the area of the break, but it is in a grassy area that does not see high student traffic. 

Timeka L. Thomas Rashid, associate dean of students for the Student Center and Center for Student Involvement, said a transformer is located near the water line, and the transformer has to be shut off to repair the broken water line. The transformer is what supplies power to the Student Center.

“For the safety of others and everyone’s well-being, we’re shutting the power off — the transformer — to fix the water line break,” she said.

Tom Eucilde, associate vice president of Facilities Planning and Operations, said the grounds crews are working on repairing the broken line.

“The broken pipe was under one of our pieces of electrical equipment, so that made it a bit risky,” he said.

Eric Mansfield, executive director of University Media Relations, said the water line break caused the sinkhole between the Student Center and the M.A.C. Center.

The university sent out a Flash Alert around 10 a.m. saying that the Student Center, M.A.C. Center and Gym Annex are closed, and classes in the Gym Annex are canceled.

Sophomore anthropology major Than Hedington was in the Student Center when a man came over the intercom around 9:25 a.m. and said the building was closing because of a power emergency and asked everyone to leave.

Hedington said he didn’t know what was going on.

“I was more confused,” he said. “I don’t remember that ever happening.”

Junior exercise science major Kalyn Renner was in the Gym Annex working on a lab when the lights went out. 

She said she and her classmates kept working in the dark, but a janitor came in and told them to leave.

“We just had to go,” she said. “I was kind of upset because I really like the classes I have today.”

Mansfield said the Student Center is expected to reopen Thursday morning.


Video by Gabe Kramer. 


Contact Emily Mills at [email protected].