After a series of pipe bursts on and around campus, the pipes in Bear Creek Apartments are still being repaired.
Last week, pipes burst in Darley North, Bear Creek Apartments and the Earth Sciences and Map Library. Residents of both Bear Creek and Darley North had to evacuate on Friday, with Darley North residents evacuating twice.
University of Colorado Spokesperson Bronson Hilliard said Porter Biosciences also had bursting pipes.
“There were small pipe bursts in [the Porter Biosciences building] affecting six rooms,” Hilliard said. “A small one took place in the facilities management workshop and one occurred in a cooling tower outside. No students were impacted.”
However, he said the students in Darley North and Bear Creek were affected.
“Two pipes burst in Darley North and 72 residents had to evacuate Bear Creek apartments,” Hilliard said. “Benson and Bear Creek are the two most prominent ruptured pipes we’ve had.”
Out of the 72 students evacuated on Friday, 22 have been able to return.
To fix the damage at Bear Creek, maintenance has been fanning carpets and drying walls, Hilliard said.
“The most severe damage was done to the walls and the floors,” Hilliard said. “Directing fans towards the floor helps the water in the floor boards evaporate faster. To get the water out of the walls they have been drilling small holes in the walls which helps release the water.”
He said he believes there has been no long-term damage and hopes the students will be able to return home in the next 24 to 48 hours.
“Maintenance is going to check out the damage done to the drywall,” Hilliard said. “If the damage is severe they will rip out the walls and replace them. For now the evacuated students are being put up in surrounding hotels.”
He said bursting pipes is nothing new to CU.
“This is the thing, when the temperature gets to be below zero there is almost no way the pipes closest to the outside can be insulated enough to be protected,” Hilliard said. “Only if you were to tear down every wall and repack them with insulation, costing thousands of dollars and months of work, would you be able to prevent pipe bursts.”
Anthony Alterio, a 21-year-old junior dance major, said he does not think students should have to deal with these problems.
“It’s pretty annoying that we are paying so much for tuition and pipes are bursting making students leave the dorms and class and stuff,” Alterio said.
Hilliard said there is little they can do to prevent the effects of Boulder’s winter weather.
“There is really nothing we can do to prevent this, especially when the weather is 17 below and then quickly jumps back up to 40,” Hilliard said. “It’s plain physics.”
The original version of this story incorrectly stated that six pipes burst in the Benson Earth Sciences building. These six pipes burst in the Porter Biosciences building. The statement that the cost of preventing pipes from bursting would be in the billions of dollars was also incorrect. This figure would be in the thousands of dollars. Inaccurate quotes from Spokeswoman Malinda Miller-Huey, regarding maintenance crew members having to work at Bear Creek Apartments around the clock, have also been removed.
Corrections made 2/8/11 at 3:15 p.m.
Contact CU Independent Deadline News Editor Isa Jones at Alexandra.email@example.com.