The university decided to resume classes on Monday after five days of flooding in Boulder.
“70 buildings have some kind of water damage: carpeting, flooring, walls and drywall,” said CU spokesperson Bronson Hilliard. “None of it is catastrophic damage — no lab equipment was destroyed. We don’t have any indications that any of the classrooms have been damaged enough to stop a class from being held.”
Though campus is functional, 21 students had to move out of their dorm rooms and into temporary rooms on campus because of flood damage. 11 to 12 of those students lived in rooms that were ruined and need “complete overhauls,” according to Hilliard.
Reed Hall and Crosman Hall, two dorms on the engineering quad, were among the worst affected.
“My room wasn’t [bad], but I had to bail out a lot of other rooms,” said Alex Peters, a mechanical engineering major and a resident of Reed Hall. “We had to take trash cans, fill them with water and shoot them out the window.”
“They ripped out all the carpet,” said Madeleine Kannan, a psychology major and Reed resident. “The lower part got flooded pretty bad.” The campus needed a flooring installation and replacement.
Hilliard explained that the decision to hold classes Monday was based on input from faculty and staff, despite the damage done to buildings on campus and students’ homes.
“We did outreach to the faculty from the provosts’ office through all the colleges and schools, and we were able to determine that the clear majority of our faculty would be able to make it into work tomorrow,” Hilliard said.
Hilliard also discussed efforts to aid off-campus students affected by the flood in their classes.
“If students that are off campus have had their homes destroyed or damaged, and they’re not able to engage in academic work right now, they need to tell us that, and we will absolutely work with them and make accommodations for them,” Hilliard said. “In some cases I think we can help replace textbooks and other instructional materials that have been lost.”
Students were split on whether CU made the right decision in reopening campus.
“The university wasn’t really affected,” said Austin Smith, president of the Residence Hall Association. “It was just the surrounding communities, so it didn’t affect a lot of the residents on campus. Looking at a campus standpoint, it looks like school should be open today.”
But some students were unhappy with the decision to reopen campus. A petition entitled “No CU While Boulder is a Disaster Area” was circulated on Facebook on Sunday night. At the time of this article, the petition had been removed from the site (Petitions.MoveOn.org) and its author was unavailable for comment.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Edward King at Edwardk@colorado.edu.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Danielle Meltz at Danielle.firstname.lastname@example.org.