Music and Speech Building roof leaks again

Kevin Kolus

Ben Ayling said he dodged a bullet last Tuesday night.

The assistant professor of music education and conductor of Kent State’s Men’s Chorus noticed a leak in his office after returning from class. He immediately placed a trash can under the leak, which collected four inches of water.

“I was very lucky,” he said. “If I wasn’t up here and got to it, there would have been a good gallon of water that doused my music.”

Ayling’s original scores of music and a piano suffered water damage.

Piano technician Blaine Vesely said the piano, which he estimated to be worth $20,000, looked unharmed, but it would take him weeks to be sure.

“We got lucky because the piano happens to have a polyester finish, so the water did not get into the wood,” he said. The piano is one of three in the school of music with a polyester finish.

Michael McDonald, director of Campus Environment and Operations, said any damage resulting from failure within a building’s structure is a problem.

“I’m surprised that given the number of pipes (heating and cooling pipes, condensation pipes), age of the roofs, age of the windows, that we don’t have more leaks,” McDonald said. “Our challenges are the same challenges that are close to any physical plant that is 100-years-old.”

Although independent contractors from outside Kent State handle the roof renovation, McDonald said the maintenance crew on campus is available for clean up at any time.

“Everything that can be done is being done,” he said. “Things aren’t easily remedied.”

McDonald said water damage happens very easily. He said small leaks occur during any renovation, and by the end of construction, the roof will be stable.

“When it is done, we will have a very good, solid roof,” he said.

Contact building and grounds reporter Kevin Kolus at [email protected].