Pipes break in Ragsdale women’s bathroom

Staff Writer

A flood occurred on Oct. 23 in the St. Edward’s University Robert and Pearle Ragsdale Center.

Students and faculty, present at the time, were greeted with copious amounts of water in Jo’s Coffee Shop and the entry hallway of Ragsdale. 

According to Gabriel Ornelas, director of the Robert and Pearle Ragsdale Center, the water was due to plumbing work being completed in the second floor ladies restroom. During this maintenance, pipes broke in one of the stalls. Although the water was shut off a few minutes after this, the water pressure was high enough to allow water to come into Ragsdale. 

“It takes a few minutes before the water can be shut off to the building and the water pressure is high enough that quite a bit of water gets released quickly,” Ornelas said.

The water affected Jo’s tremendously, causing the popular coffee shop to shut down for about an hour and a half, and eventually reopening using their exterior doors as an entryway. The flood also ruined the stage in Jo’s. However, the coffee shop had considered removing the stage prior to the flood so they will not be getting a new stage, Ornelas said. 

Senior Zach Gil witnessed the incident firsthand.

“I went around through the cafeteria and I saw all of Jo’s furniture outside, and some of the employees hanging outside,” Gil said. “You really can’t do anything since the store is flooded. It was just a crazy morning.” 

Jo’s was not the only facility affected in the center. The hallway area in Ragsdale was also closed due to the flooding. 

“There was a variety of equipment that had to be placed in the immediate area and for safety reasons, we closed [the] hallway area that afternoon,” Ornelas said. 

To help clean up the water, cove base was removed from the walls surrounding the affected areas. Using blowers with tubes, air was run into the affected walls and behind them, to make sure they were completely dry. According to Ornelas, the cove base on the walls has been ordered and will be replaced.

The downstairs bathroom and hallway area re-opened for student use during the school week, but shut down the following weekend for repairs and then re-opened Monday morning.

Despite the various problems the flood caused Ragsdale, Ornelas feels the clean-up effort was successful, with the initial clean-up of the water only taking two hours to complete.

“Our Physical Plant staff was on site immediately. They let me know when the water would be back on so I could communicate with Bon Appetit and Jo’s,” Ornelas said.

Ornelas acknowledged the efforts of all of the parties involved.

“It was a cohesive effort as we had staff from Physical Plant, Ragsdale, Bon Appetit and Jo’s working together to help with the immediate water on the floor issue and communicating back and forth thereafter,” Ornelas said. 

Despite the successful communication between staff members of Ragsdale and the Physical Plant, Gil feels that the flood could’ve been better communicated to the students by the university.

“I think they did clean it up fast, but they should still kind of let us know just like through an announcement on Facebook or something,” Gil said.