PFT closed for the next two nights due to power outage

Pearce-Ford Tower freshmen residents Marjorie Mason (from left), of Frankfort, Autumn Bruner, of Meade County, and Kelsey Rice of Frankfort, walk to Downing Student Union after collecting their belongings from their rooms in the resident hall, Tuesday, February 17, 2015. Electricity went out in the resident hall around 6:30 a.m. this morning, followed by a fire alarm. Mason, Bruner and Rice said that they were told that they had to leave the premises and weren’t given any warning of when the electricity would be turned on. Residents were displaced to various other resident hall lobbies until this morning, when they were able to collect their belongings. Photo By Alyssa Pointer/ HERALD

Herald staff

Update: Tuesday, 4:45 p.m.

Housing and Residence Life announced on its Facebook page that Pearce-Ford Tower will be closed for at least two nights. HRL encouraged displaced residents to spend the next two nights with a friend or family member. 24-hour visitation will be in effect for all dorms to help accomodate. Other temporary housing arrangement include vacant rooms and community spaces in other residence halls. The Preston Center and Downing Student Union will be open Tuesday throughout night. 

All PFT residents must leave the dorm by 9 p.m. Tuesday night. 

PFT residents are encouraged to notify HRL staff of their plans by stopping by the PFT front desk or calling 270-745-3143 by 8:00 p.m. PFT front desk will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday for any residents who need to pick up belongings. 

Update: 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 17

Bryan Russell, chief facilities officer, said power has been restored to the Preston Center, Zacharias and Meredith residence halls Tuesday afternoon. Power to Pearce-Ford Tower has yet to be restored. An announcement regarding housing arrangements for displaced students will be made later Tuesday.

Russell said new electrical cables have been ordered for PFT and repairs are expected to be completed by late Thursday.

The original story is below:

Several students who live on campus have been affected by a power outage on a day where classes were cancelled.

Bryan Russell, chief facilities officer, said facilities received a phone call at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday about a power outage on WKU’s campus. The power outage has affected Pearce-Ford Tower, Meredith and Zacharias residence halls. The Preston Center and a portion of Nick Denes Field were also affected.

Students in the affected dorms were able to convene Downing Student Union while repairs were being made.

The cause of the power outage is a blown electrical cable from PFT. All of the affected residence halls are connected through the same electrical circuit. Russell said electrical engineers are trying to determine if it is possible to separate PFT’s power supply from the other affected buildings. 

Russell said if this can’t be done, generators will be provided to Zacharias and Meredith to get the dorms power back online.

Russell said the cable was old, about 45 years, and needed to be replaced.

Russell said because PFT houses many students, it is a priority, but noted that the building may not have power by this evening.

“It is an emergency,” he said.

Many buildings that were closed or on limited hours have opened up due to the power outage.

Mass Media and Technology Hall’s computer lab will be open from noon to 6 p.m. The Fresh Food Company will be open for the rest of Tuesday night.

Students in the affected dorms have been encouraged to pack essentials and find someone to stay with.

The Herald will update this story as information follows