Western didn’t pay big bucks to have flooded dorms

Last spring, hundreds of Western students camped out for a weekend to live in the newly renovated directional halls.

If Western doesn’t fix the flooding problems in the two dorms, the same students might be camping out for a chance to move.

In less than a semester, both dorms have experienced flooding problems.

In September, six rooms and a hallway in Southwest were covered with an inch of water.

Brianna Vaughn, a Southwest resident, said it was the second time rain flooded her room. She said her hall director told her it would happen every time it rained.

Over the weekend, heavy rains spilled into the lobby in Northeast. Students in the dorms were advised to pick up their belongings on the floor in case the dorms flooded.

Water soaked the carpet, walls and woodwork.

If memory serves correctly, this type of major flooding didn’t happen before the dorms were renovated.

We’re suspecting there was a design flaw somewhere in the reconstruction plans.

In September, Facilities Management Director Doug Ault said there was no landscaping around the dorms to prevent rain from coming into the building.

Landscaping is finished along the former Virginia-Garrett Avenue now, but water still seeped into the Northwest connector. It was heaviest at the spot between what was West Hall and North Hall.

Ault and Pat Hall, project manager for the Student Life Foundation, were out of town yesterday and could not be reached to answer our questions about flooding.

On Monday, Ault would not say if any plans were being made to deal with the flooding problem.

Whether they want to admit it or not, flooding is a problem in the new dorms.

Western shouldn’t spend millions of dollars renovating dorms if there’s no way to protect the interior from rain. We might as well have left the dorms the way they were.

If landscaping is the key to preventing flooding, let’s fork over some cash and add some plants.

If it’s a design flaw, let’s hold the design firm accountable. Let’s discuss, no matter the cost, what needs to be done to end the flooding.

In the long run, we’re wasting money by cleaning up flooding problems every time they happen.

Dorm dwellers deserve better.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 10-member board of student editors.