Broken sprinkler damages M.A.C. Center

Douglas Miller

A frozen sprinkler head caused minimal damage in the M.A.C. Center Feb. 8.

Michael McDonald, director of University Environment and Operations, said the burst happened in the second floor soccer area.

“The cause was an old damper above the ceiling which was covered by plywood,” McDonald said.

The wood was no longer sealing the outside air from entering the building and the sprinkler head froze and burst, McDonald said.

He said the water traveled down into offices on the first floor.

Building Maintenance Supervisor Lonnie Scarlett said people in the offices were helping out with brooms before custodians showed up.

“Compared to what could have happened, it was a very fine effort,” Scarlett said. “Several departments responded very quickly.”

Scarlett said the clean-up took several hours and a fairly large crew, using water extraction machines.

He said the carpet needs to be replaced in some rooms and others need to be shampooed. He also said there are around 50 ceiling tiles that need to be replaced, but they are easy to install and readily available.

“They are painting the walls today, and we are replacing the ceiling tiles tomorrow,” Scarlett said. “They should be back in their offices in less then a week because there are several departments working on repairs.”

Jason Tracey, graduate assistant at M.A.C. Center Facilities and Operation, said Moving Services had to come help staff in the soccer and softball offices move to an office down the hall.

“It was a pretty big disaster,” Tracey said.

He said some basic paperwork or belongings were most likely ruined but no major files were damaged.

“Maintenance has cleaned the area, repaired the sprinkler head and there was minimal damage overall,” McDonald said.

Contact building and grounds reporter Douglas Miller at [email protected].