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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Leaky Memorial Union caused by original architecture

Looking forward to the coming  spring rain, many students anticipate the leaky roof of the Memorial Union (MU).  Based upon past rain storms, drips located in the ASUCD Coffee House (CoHo) and the East Wing of the MU have plagued students looking for a dry place to stay.

A new roof has been installed over the CoHo, in an effort to block out the leaks.

“The leaks are a result of the original architecture of the building,” said John Seden, associate director of MU operations.

Between the half spheres of the CoHo roof, new box ends have been added to the drains, in order to help with the overflow.  Many times, the leaves clog the gutter, causing the water to overflow and leak into the CoHo.

“The few small drips that we experienced in our dining room last week had a minimal effect on our customers. The MU operations and CoHo staffs were careful to clean up any standing water that could have been a slipping hazard.  The few drips that I noticed were in walkways, so no seating was affected,” said Darin Schluep, food service manager of the CoHo.

With the new addition to the drains, there are still a few leaks, as the water drips through.  There were also adjustments made to the concrete second level of the MU.  An expansion joint was installed in order to reduce leakage. However, when this did not completely solve the problem, extra sealant and caulking was used.  The maintenance staff now believes that the drips here will stop.

“Chasing leaks is an art from,” Seden said.

On the East Wing of the MU, there is a leak right in front of U.S. Bank, starting at the tower wall.  Here, the problem is that the roof is old, made of bricks.  When the water gets under this surface, it seeps through the roof, as the bricks are porous.

“It is okay for the first 20 years, but now the concrete and mortar are only more porous,” Seden said.

For continued alleviation of the problem, the MU has increased maintenance measures.  This is beneficial for keeping the drains clean and removing leaves which cause the water to overflow.

Currently, the MU is paying for the new roof over the CoHo, while the smaller maintenance fees are shared with the CoHo.  The MU is on a five year maintenance plan, but is wary of unexpected emergencies.

DANIELLE HUDDLESTUN can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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