Eastern Michigan University experienced multiple facility incidents from Jan. 11-15.
Those incidents include a fire caused by an overloaded dryer in Pittman Hall on Monday, Jan. 15, damaged heating units in Halle Library on Monday, flooding in Pray Harrold on Tuesday, Jan. 16, and a broken water main that affected The Commons and nearby halls on Thursday, Jan. 11 until Monday.
Though the timing of some of the situations were by chance, the University says many of the incidents were due to the extreme winter temperatures.
“We had a few situations occur across campus that were primarily related to the extreme cold temperatures in the Washtenaw area. The University's Facilities team responds quickly to resolve matters as soon as the cause is determined. In most cases last week, repairs were completed within one-to-two days. The dryer fire incident was not weather-related. It was the result of an overpacked dryer. Students are advised to use care when loading clothes in dryers,” Brittany Mobley, senior media relations specialist at EMU, said in a statement.
Read More: E|Dining closes The Commons until Monday to repair water main
These events led to a temporary halt in classes, with students waiting outside in 8-10-degree weather, or the temporary closure of buildings.
As of now, all of the incidents have been resolved and operations are back to normal.
Dana Heller, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, was one of the faculty in Pray Harrold when a water flow alarm alerted the Ypsilanti Fire Department of flooding on the second floor.
“It's unfortunate that this happened on one of the coldest days of the year, but all in all we were evacuated for about 15 minutes before we were told that it was safe to reenter,” Heller said. “On the bright side, the clean up was quick and successful.”
According to Heller, only one space within Pray Harrold was damaged, but repair has already begun.
Many buildings on campus have been renovated on campus as part of plans, such as Welcome Home 2025. As of this moment, the University does not see these recent issues as reasons to add these halls to the list.
“An unprecedented level of construction and renovation is underway on campus to modernize campus buildings. This is evidenced by the $200 million+ renovation of residence halls and construction of two new apartment-style housing buildings. The University will continue to evaluate needs across campus and plan for future upgrades based on available funds and a prioritization of building use and needs,” Mobley said in a statement.
If similar incidents arise, the University recommends that students monitor their emich emails to stay updated.