Weather creates unexpected construction zone at UW-Stout - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Weather creates unexpected construction zone at UW-Stout

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Menomonie (WQOW) - The cold weather created an unexpected construction zone Tuesday.  At UW-Stout, the pipes froze in a dining hall.

Scott Griesbach, the Executive Director of Student Life Services at UW Stout, says, "This is the type of weather where nobody wants to go outside."

Outside the dining center on UW-Stout's north campus it's as cold as an ice box.  Inside,  the wicked weather has created a whirlwind of cleanup. 

Griesbach says, "We had a pipe burst up in the ceiling of our dining hall. It just got really cold in that area between the ceiling tile and the roof. The cold weather froze open one of the dampers and that damper caused a lot of the cold air to come into the building."

Around 2:30 Tuesday morning, university police responded to an activated fire alarm.  The frozen pipes are what caused the sprinkler system to sound. 

"They turned off the sprinkler system but by that point, quite a bit of water had already flowed out. There was so much water coming out that in some places the water seeped into the carpeted area of the dining part of the food service," says Griesbach.

UW-Stout contacted the state of Wisconsin Risk Management and Safety Department for help. Griesbach says, "We had them send somebody out from Steamatic, which is a company that they use to go through and assess the damage and determine how much water is still in the walls."

"We're running lots of fans right now, in order to dry the walls out and all of the areas that the water was absorbed into," Griesbach says.  

The North Point Dining center serves about 1,200 students. For now, they can go to the main campus to eat, or…"The convenience store is serving food for students, we put together a couple of different packages that students can use to get some grab and go food. Pizza, pasta, sandwiches, like hamburger, grilled chicken, those sorts of things, "Griesbach says.

The university says it also plans to set up a buffet for students in the seating area once the carpet dries out. Things should be fully functional by Friday.

The insurance company will be in town Wednesday.  That will help the university get an idea of how much repairs will cost.

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