Improvements made to directional halls to prevent future flooding

Jessica Sasseen

Improvements have been made by the Student Life Foundation to prevent more flooding of the newly renovated directional halls.

“We remain committed to providing a high quality living environment for our residents and to resolving any issues that adversely affect that environment,” said Don Stoneburg, project director for SLF and Western.

Rain waters plagued the directionals twice this semester, when a storm on Sept. 17 followed by a second on Nov. 10 left inches of water in Northeast and Southwest Halls.

When the directional halls were renovated, storm lines were tied back into the existing storm water management system. It is customary to tie into existing utility systems and to expect the existing systems to operate properly, Stoneburg said in an e-mail. The previous system was equipped to support the area before renovations.

Geography and geology professor Mike May serves on the storm water advisory board for the city. The board is addressing Bowling Green’s rain water management, which includes some of Western’s run-off as well.

“The underground systems are affected when we shove dirt around on the surface,” May said. “The problem is that when you move surface material around, it’s not at its equilibrium and you may get water run-off.”

Recently the Student Life Foundation funded several improvements made to the storm drains and sink holes near the directional halls.

The existing water lines were inadequate due to a failure with the existing sinkhole inlet. The inlet was re-established and connected to the storm drain system as of Nov. 22 and should now handle storm water flow, even at the rate experienced during the last storm, Stoneburg said.

“We ran a new drain all the way to the new sinkhole and cleaned out the sinkhole all to itself, so we should be in good shape,” said Brian Kuster, Housing and Residence Life director.

Surface drains were added in the Southwest Hall area to handle water accumulation. New parking lot curbs in the Northeast Hall area will redirect water from the Grise Hall parking lot.

May said working with the city to control storm water, maximizing green areas to soak up rain water and making retention basins are all ideas to improve the water flow on campus.

“A lot of that water came in before the sod came in, so there was nothing to slow it down,” May said. “Hopefully it is better now.”

Stoneburg is confident with the improvements.

“We believe we now have full flow capacity restored to the system,” Stoneburg said. “Also, we have created alternative relief points for the system which will discharge water to areas that will not adversely affect our residence halls, should the system somehow not meet the inlet flow rates in the future.”

Reach Jessica Sasseen at [email protected]