Ragsdale open after flood

Tristan Hallman

St. Edward’s University is assessing the damage after a flood that closed down the Robert and Pearle Ragsdale Center.

The university reopened the building’s third floor last Thursday and its second floor the next day. Jones Auditorium, however, remains closed indefinitely. Workers are still in the process of drying out the auditorium. Classes that were held in Jones will continue to be held in the Maloney Room until further notice.

“We’ll have to do some repairs in there,” said Mike Stone, director of Auxiliary Services.

Those repairs include replacing damaged dry wall and replacing the carpet in the auditorium. The carpet had been replaced over the summer at a cost of approximately $9,800.

The full cost of the damage is still being assessed However, none of the technological or mechanical equipment in the auditorium sustained any damage, according to Stone. The flooding occurred when a chiller pipe, which supplied cold water to the air conditioning system in the building, became disconnected in the Ragsdale mechanical room The mechanical room has since been dried and cleaned out “for the most part,” according to Physical Plant Director Michael Peterson.

The burst pipe was replaced and the buildings are running again.

Last Thursday, the third floor of Ragsdale was reopened since the air conditioning blowers were elevated and not affected by the flood. The campus bookstore and the Quick Dip, which run on the same system as Ragsdale, opened last Wednesday. Later that afternoon, Physical Plant made the decision to reopen the rest of the building.

Meadows Coffee House, run by Texenza, remained open for all but six hours, even as Ragsdale was closed. Meadows served customers from the side of the building, using tubs of ice to keep everything cool. Later, the coffee shop moved back inside and did without air conditioning. The overall effect on Texenza’s business was minor.

“We actually did pretty well,” said Steve Baer, café manager.

Baer also said the flooding helped business in Texenza’s new café in the newly-renovated Doyle Hall.

“We saw a little bit of an increase just because we were pointing people in that direction,” Baer said.

The flooding also disrupted operations for the Ragsdale help desk, Student Life and Bon Appétit, which moved its food services to the Hunt Café. But Stone said that he thought the overall response was handled well by everyone involved.

“Obviously, it’s the sort of thing you don’t want to have happen,” Stone said. “But [Campus Center Director] Gabriel Ornelas and the whole Ragsdale staff, as well as UPD, did a great job reacting to it. Physical Plant has been handling it well too.”