One instance of flooding in Flint Village on Dec. 24, 2022 and two more instances on Feb. 3 resulted in over $1.5 million in damages and the relocation of 50 student residents.
A total of three buildings were affected, with students relocated to other on-campus apartments.
Campus Living has been working with the Environment, Health and Safety Office and engineers assigned by the UB Foundation’s insurers to restore the facilities and ensure that all campus safety measures are adhered to.
Reconstruction will likely take place over the next three to five weeks.
An inspection found the sprinkler pipes had been placed too close to the roofing soffits and exterior walls, exposing the pipes to the extreme cold and causing them to freeze, expand and crack.
Campus Living reported that an initial inspection had confirmed there was insulation around the pipes. An investigation is ongoing.
Demolition work has begun in Flint 303 and 306, with electrical demolition complete. Rebuilding will ensure there is an appropriate amount of insulation in all non-heated spaces, with existing freeze-mitigation methods, such as freeze alarm notifications, to be re-evaluated and inspected.
Interim Director of Housing Operations Brian Haggerty said that Campus Living has provided moving supplies, transportation of belongings, and a $200 campus dining credit to those displaced.
Haggerty added that UB doesn’t carry insurance to cover theft or damage to personal property due to “an act of God,” natural causes or the actions of others, and is therefore “not liable.”
Haggerty “recognizes this situation is inconvenient for these impacted students” and recommended students apply for small claims through UB’s Environment, Health and Safety department if applicable.
Campus Living “strongly encourages all resident students to have a renters insurance policy or be covered by their family’s homeowners or renters policy,” Haggerty said, adding that Campus Living’s recommendation is “clearly communicated” in resident agreements.
Haggerty also recommends that students be “proactive” by “securing doors, turning off lights when they are not needed, closing windows during high wind or low temperature conditions and submitting work orders in a timely fashion.”
Suha Chowdhury is an assistant news editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org