Athletics / Community

Human error causes flood in Shipley Center

Human error caused a minor flood at the front entrance of the Dana Hall Shipley Center on January 22.

Campus Safety Director Tom DiGiandomenico explained, “A sprinkler head burst in the North Entrance vestibule of the Shipley Center. This happened on a very cold day. Apparently, the outside door was left open, forcing the cold air into the vestibule. Water in the sprinkler system eventually froze and expanded, causing the sprinkler head to burst.” He continued, “Fortunately, we were able to clean up the water quickly, so there was minimal damage. We had industrial fans blowing in the area for over a week to prevent any further damage.” 

The Squash team were the first to witness the flood, as the team had just come back from an Away match at Brooks at approximately 5:00 pm. A member of the Varsity Squash team Emma Houston ‘24 said, “The first thing I saw was water streaming out from under the door.” 

The flood also triggered the fire alarm to go off throughout the building. Students were temporarily closed out of the Shipley Center as work was being done to repair the damage.

Camilla Toledo ‘23 said, “I was going to the cycling room and as I got there I heard the fire alarm go off. I didn’t know the pipe had broken until we got an email, so I went downstairs and saw there was water on the floor. When I got closer I saw that the sprinkler was going off so I went to the security office and reported that the fire alarm was going off.” 

Assistant Dean of Boarding Life Ms. Donna Corrigan informed borders about the incident and told them to use other entrances while repair was being done. 

Camilla remarked, “I stood outside and waited until the fire department came. The alarm was only going off for ten minutes. It didn’t really affect borders that much because we were still able to go to the gym and use the building as usual after that.”

Mr. DiGiandomenico reported that Northeast Mechanical, the company that services the sprinkler system, responded immediately and replaced the damaged sprinkler head and tested the system to make sure that there were no further issues. The Shipley Center was back open as usual after all of this was completed.

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