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Upgraded pipe cracks, floods Alden Hall basement

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Residents of Alden Hall at Alumni Quad woke last Tuesday to find their gym, two laundry rooms, and several bathrooms closed due to flooding.

The University said Thursday that a cracked pipe installed in a plumbing upgrade last year flooded Alden’s basement.

“Facilities is still determining what caused the crack to occur,” said UAlbany communications specialist Mike Nolan. “They are working closely with the University’s engineering and construction team to reduce the risk of it ever happening again.”

The fitness center re-opened on Friday, according to the Alumni Quad information desk.

The center was closed for nearly three months last semester due to non-flushable items like sanitary napkins in the plumbing.

“It was annoying because the gym was closed like the whole semester,” said Desirei Perez, a sophomore at Alden. ”I got lazy because I didn’t want to go all the way uptown [to work out].”

On Tuesday, a paper note was found taped on one of the closed bathroom doors: “THANKS for closing EVERY bathroom without notification!! All of us with early classes REALLY appreciate this!!”

Many but not all first and second-floor bathrooms were closed Tuesday. Alden Hall director Olena Wills sent a notification of the closings to residents at 4:29 that morning.

When asked how many times flooding has occured on Alumni in the past two years, Nolan said, “We do not track this, as facilities operates and maintains more than 100 campus residence halls.”

Plumbing is one of many problems Alumni Quad has faced over its nearly 80-year history ― problems that include minimal parking space and rodents in the dormitories.

The five halls are named for the Alumni Association, which funded the construction of Pierce and Sayles halls in the 1930s. The other three, including Alden Hall, were completed in the 1950s.

At the end of January, Alden Hall assistant director Ema Buco sent Alumni Quad residents a link to an online survey where they could map out their daily commutes and places they frequently visit.

“While I have been on Alumni Quad I have been advocating for a rehab of buildings, and for a new building in the front on Western Ave,” said Buco in the email. “This survey would help the architects determine what we need to build versus what we think we should be building here.”

UAlbany’s Office of Government & Community Relations had planned an “Alumni Quad Improvement Meeting” to be held downtown last Wednesday, but snow cancelled the meeting. Its reschedule date is still to be determined.

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Joe Hoffman is the managing editor for the Albany Student Press.

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