Rainfall le​aks, seeps into campus academic buildings

     JACOB KNUTSON                        REBEKAH TUCHSCHERER
jaknutson15@ole.augie.edu              rjtuchscherer16@ole.augie.edu

During the heavy rainfall of Sept. 19 and 20, water began to infiltrate multiple academic buildings on campus.

The Sioux Falls Area received roughly seven inches of rain during the two day period, and the Fryxell Humanities Center’s basement and concourse, the newly remodeled Hamre Hall and the Froiland Science Complex greenhouse experienced leakage and seepage.

“It was quite a deluge,” Lisa Grevlos, professor and chair of the Augustana Music Department, said.

Grevlos said on the evening of Sept. 19, Brian Hanegan, professor and director of Northlanders Jazz Ensemble, notified her that while his jazz band was performing on stage in Hamre Hall members of the band felt “an odd misting sensation” near the stage left door.

She said construction workers took out a wall on stage left during Hamre Hall’s remodeling, but she does not know if that was the cause of the misting sensation.

Also during the rain, water leaked into the band practice room. Hanegan placed a trash can under the leak and Grevlos notified campus safety.

Grevlos said there were additional leaks in the Humanities concourse.

During a performance by guest cellist Kelley Mikkelsen on Sept. 20 in the hall, water began to leak on the stage.

Staff members brought towels to dry the stage and trash cans to catch the water.

The leaking stopped later that evening, Grevlos said.

The department contacted TSP Design LLC., the architectural firm overseeing the Hamre Hall remodel, and asked if it had done work on the roof of the hall.

The firm said it did not touch the roof during the construction.

Humanities custodian Garry Felsheim said water began seeping up from the floor of the Humanities’ basement on Sept. 20 because the rain raised the water table.

“It was just too much rain too fast,” Felsheim said. “I’ve been here eight years, and I haven’t seen this happen.”

He started cleaning up the basement around 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 20, but water was still seeping up on Sept. 21, a full day after the storms.

Grevlos said water seeped into the brass instrument storage area and adjunct professors’ studios, all located on the southern wall of the basement.

Grevlos is not aware of any damages.

Hannah Guggisberg, a senior violinist and music education major, said she went to practice in the Humanities’ basement on the night of Sept. 20 and smelt a strong musty smell and saw a practice room soaked with stagnant water.

Guggisberg said the added moisture in the basement is a concern for people who store string instruments in the basement, as increased humidity can disrupt an instrument’s tuning or distort its frame.

Guggisberg is specifically concerned about the pianos stored in the basement.

“[The humidity] will impact the pianos’ tunings,” Guggisberg said.

Clair Hammerschmidt, senior violinist and music education major, said she’s been avoiding the Humanities’ basement because it smells like her “grandmother’s old basement—minus the mothballs.”

Brian Vander Aarde, science equipment repair technician, said the two limestone decontamination tanks, used to filter water used in chemical labs in the FSC, backed up during the rainstorms and water seeped through floor drains, saturating the greenhouse, a maintenance room and a hallway with clear but “stagnant-smelling” water.

The greenhouse floor, Vander Aarde said, was submerged in water up to an inch deep in certain areas.

University maintenance workers mopped up the wetted areas and pumped water out of the backed tanks until the tanks could be cleared and the limestone replaced on Sept. 22.

Leave a Reply

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: