Roof Caves in, Residents Move Out

by Sasha Ray

The roof moments after the cave in. (Photo by Ben Verde)

Last Friday night, Sarah Alden sat at her desk in her bedroom in the Olde. The sounds of college students enjoying themselves thundered through the floor upstairs, increasing in size slowly.

“I knew they were having a party upstairs, because I could feel the shaking,” Alden said.

The ceiling slowly became more animated than it should’ve been. Alden and her roommates weren’t concerned at first, until cracks appeared in the ceiling.

“Five or ten minutes before, it just got really, really intense,” Alden said. “My door was slamming and jiggling, because the ceiling kept moving. That was when we noticed it.”

Alden’s roommates, who declined to comment directly, said they saw cracks appearing in the ceiling above.“One of them ran upstairs to tell them, ‘there’s cracks in our ceiling, please stop,’ but by the time she got up there, it was too late, and the ceiling was down,” she said.

After hearing a crash, Alden ran into the living room, where she found a chunk of her ceiling larger than a person on the floor.

“My jaw dropped,” Alden said. “I was like, ‘oh my God.’ It took me a couple minutes to realize the severity of what had just happened.” Upon discovery of the damaged ceiling, Alden and her roommates took immediate action.

“I ran upstairs and yelled at them to come down,” Alden said. “I was like, ‘get out of here, can’t you tell that this floor is caved in? You can’t be up here.’”

UPD, according to Alden, took 40 minutes and second call to be informed “it’s a facilities issue, call facilities.”

“Nobody from UPD came, so we called them again,” Alden reported. “We called them again, and they just hung up on us.”

At 2:30 a.m., a facilities worker to asses the destruction. “He tells us, ‘this is bad, you guys can’t stay here for the night,’” Alden said.

Saturday morning, Alden, along with her three roommates, woke up in emergency housing. For Alden, this meant relocation to the Crossroads residence hall until a more permanent housing situation could be put in place.

“The past few days, we’ve all been in emergency housing,” Alden said. “There’s a lot going on with that; they have eight people they need to find new rooms for, all of a sudden, and they’re already overbooked on campus.”

Reconstruction of the apartments began immediately. Facilities have taken down parts of the ceiling and removed a lot of insulation in the downstairs apartment, to analyze the problem.

“They broke some of the beams, the beams are all bent, and they broke some 2x4s,” Alden said after speaking with facilities. “They’ve analyzed the issue with the area that fell down, but that means that this issue could affect the whole floor.”

According to Alden’s communication with facilities, it has not been checked out, but they are likely planning to.

“They’re just waiting until we’re situated in our housing and they know we’re not going to be coming back and forth to be getting our stuff, before they tear down the whole ceiling,” said Alden.

According to facilities, the reconstruction of apartments G 9-1 and G 9-3 will most likely last through January.

“It feels hectic,” Alden said. “I feel like the school is partially responsible for everything that has happened, because it’s their fault that the housing was so shoddy that it was able to collapse like that.” Alden will be housed at the hotel off-campus for the time being. Other students affected by the cave in declined to be interviewed for this article.

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