A “Hole” Lot of Trouble

DANA HALL — After school on February 25th, 2019, three pairs of roommates unsuspectingly returned to their Wheeler dorm rooms to discover that their ceilings had either sustained significant damage or collapsed altogether.
Since then, the six boarding students have been relocated from Wheeler rooms 112, 113, and 114 to the Johnston A and D dormitories until the damage can be repaired.
Roommates Lia Jiang and Sam Wong were two of the boarders whose ceilings were damaged and now reside in Johnston A.
“It was the day before my birthday when the ceiling collapsed” recalled Sam. “When I walked into the room there were tons of little white flakes all over the floor, and I turned to Lia and was like, What the heck? I just vacuumed yesterday!”
Perplexed, Sam remembers that she spent several minutes picking up the mysterious flakes before finally looking up and discovering their source: 114’s cracked, chipped, and peeling ceiling.
“At first, I thought it was a joke,” recalled Sam laughing. “I was like, who put that hole there? Looking back on it now, it seems kind of funny, but it wasn’t then.”
Abruptly, Sam’s voice lowered and became more serious. “That’s when I heard the scream.”
Living next door to Sam and Lia in room 113, Charlene Tsai had just returned to her and Bink Vijitkasemkij’s room, opened the door, and been greeted by a totally unexpected sight. “The ceiling had totally collapsed!” exclaimed Sam.  
Although the pervading rumor around campus for the past several months has been that the collapse was due to faulty repair work on Wheeler’s roof last year, this is actually not true. Happy to clear up the confusion, facilities and campus safety director Tom DiGiandomenico set the record straight.

“We’ve had small limbs fall on the roof in the past causing minor damage,” clarified Mr. DiGiandomenico, “But these repairs were made and had no effect on the recent damage.”
Recently, the relocated residents of the affected Wheeler rooms were informed that they will not be able to return to their original dorm rooms for the remainder of the school year. Due to the nature of the damage, the six students will have to continue living in the Johnstons until the repairs can be fully completed.
Bink Vijitkasemkij and Charlene Tsai of room 113 as well as Tori Li and Andrea Siame of room 112 have been relocated to Johnston D and Sam Wong and Lia Jiang now reside in Johnston A.
“I’ve mostly adjusted to living in A,” said Sam Wong, “but I still miss living in Wheeler. I wish I could move back sooner than next year.”
When asked approximately how long he thought it would take for Wheeler’s ongoing repairs to be completed, Mr. DiGiandomenico explained, “It is difficult to put a timetable on this job because roofing companies are so busy right now.”
According to Mr. DiGiandomenico, “The wind storm that caused Wheeler’s problem also caused significant roof damage to homes and buildings throughout New England.”

Since moving to the Johnstons, dorm proctors and faculty alike have remarked at how well the six affected juniors have integrated into their new dorm communities. “It’s really nice to have them here,” said one anonymous dorm proctor of JHA. “We love them!”

Additionally, veteran borders of the Johnston A and D dormitories have been very welcoming to their new dorm-mates, and have tried their best to bring optimism and humor to the situation.

“Our ceilings might not be the best,” quipped year-long resident of Johnston A, Annie Xu, “but at least they’re up there!”

Wind storms caused several trees to lose branches in the area, causing damage to many Wellesley buildings.

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