• March 7, 2021

Schools on top of storm repairs - Odessa American: Announcements

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Schools on top of storm repairs

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Posted: Monday, February 22, 2021 6:05 pm

Ector County ISD, Odessa College and University of Texas Permian Basin are assessing damage and making repairs to their buildings in the wake of last week’s frigid temperatures, burst pipes, power outages, snow and ice.

ECISD Public Information Officer Mike Adkins said to get ready for Monday’s classes, repairs were made at 21 campuses/facilities, two of which were roof leaks. Nineteen were waterline breaks or leaks and the roof repairs necessary to open schools have been made.

Adkins said there were also 14 classrooms were directly impacted by water leaks or breaks and the estimated cost is $15,7000. However, most of the work was done in house.

OC Vice President of Administrative Services Ken Zartner said a lot of different things occurred on campus during the storm.

The most significant damage that we had was to our fire suppression systems at Century Commons, which is the student housing. Those are outside suppression systems that are water filled, so basically those pipes busted. It’s on the southwest side of Century Commons,” Zartner said.

He added that it “completely” destroyed about six or seven rooms.

Fortunately because of COVID, we didn’t have students on that side of the area because we only have 50 percent occupancy right now. But those rooms are completely gone. We’re gutting all the drywall today (Monday) and we filed insurance last week, immediately, and beginning the work. All three floors were just completely drenched, so that’s probably the most significant damage.”

We didn’t have power for three-plus days or so, and once the power went out, our servers and backup generators failed and we had no technology on campus for three days. It was basically lights out in most of our areas, so that was a hindrance. The power outages definitely came with the trials and its own troubles, but as far as facility damage, we had a main pipe burst in our campus center which caused some flooding. Fortunately, it was the cafeteria area and that’s all of the ceramic-style floor so it was able to clean up,” Zartner said.

We had some fire suppression systems on the outside of our Wood Math and Science Building burst, as well. We were able to shut those off and (there was) no damage inside and then we have a couple different roofs that have some significant leakage. One of the roofs, though, was unfortunately, in one of the most expensive labs that we have on campus.”

He is referring to Professor of Photography Steve Goff’s computers in the Electronics Technology Building. The roof collapsed on top of those devices.

... I have my technical guys looking at that right now, but I think it might be completely ruined. But other than that, it was about keeping our campus as safe as we can because we have 100-plus residents here. We had to keep the walkways, the food going, the heat on as much as we possibly can in those areas and just kind of keeping everybody in a safe space,” Zartner said.

While electricity powers many items on campus, Zartner said most things run on gas.

Our generators run off of gas, as well. The one time we needed them, they failed. Something happened with the computer. It was just too cold for everything to be handled. I think we had Honeywell; we had all sorts of vendors out here trying to work on some stuff. It was a very challenging three days for us,” Zartner said.

The insurance adjuster came out last Friday and did a walk-through.

I think we’re looking at about $50,000 right now. It might double up to $100,000 if you have to replace actual two-by-fours and all those things. ... We won’t know until we start tearing everything out, which they’re starting already today,” he added.

UTPB had damage at several of its buildings, but there are no dollar damage estimates yet.

Communications Manager Alexa Dunson said the engineering building had a fire sprinkler pipe burst on the ceiling in the lobby area causing extensive water damage to the floor, furniture and carpet.

Also, a bib outside the building froze and broke inside the wall. Dunson said there was no equipment damage, but there was some damage to the wall and Sheetrock.

At the D. Kirk Edwards Family Human Performance Center, a washing machine connection in the laundry room froze and burst so water got all over the floor. “Thankfully, there are drains in that laundry room. However, some water did come out and make its way over to the football locker room and there’s carpet in there, so we currently have crews over there trying to dry it out. We’re hoping for the best,” Dunson said.

The irrigation pipes broke in the lawn area and the water was shut off. She said they are going to have to repair those pipes.

Associate Vice President of Facilities Management David Wayland said they don’t know the extent of the damage to the irrigation system, but will know more as it thaws out.

Dunson said a water pipe above the third floor in the attic froze, burst and cracked in the residence dining hall so there was some damage to the units, but she was not sure if there were students in them.

The Parker Ranch House had a reverse osmosis line burst and there was some damage to the ceiling, floor and Sheetrock there, Dunson said. That impacted six different student apartments.

Wayland noted that had it not been for the quick response of the physical plant and grounds crews, the damage could have been a lot worse. He added that even though the university was closed due to weather, grounds crews were still clearing and salting making sure students had a clear path.

The grounds crew and physical plant crew did a great job last week,” Wayland said.

Dunson added that so many people helped out from dining services, to volunteers at the food pantry to campus police.

This was at a time when people were being advised to stay in. Wayland said he doesn’t know how he can thank everyone enough.

I don't know how we can possibly tell those people thank them enough.

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