In OV, Plumbing Issues Persist

In Overlook Manor, the college’s only apartment-style residence hall, plumbing issues related to the building’s age causes a majority of maintenance problems in units, residents and staff say.

Most residents who said they experienced plumbing issues reported small problems, such as leaks, clogs and problems in bathrooms.  In most cases, residents say that Physical Plant staff, who respond to maintenance requests, were able to fix issues on the same day they were reported.

“Small issues in kitchens and bathrooms get fixed quickly,” fourth-year student RJ Meany, who lives on the building’s sixth floor, said.

“My toilet overflowed,” Alex Rousseau, a first-year graduate student and Overlook Manor resident, said.  “But they came right away… maintenance was quick.”

AJ Goodman, assistant director of residence life said the prompt responses of Physical Plant staff to maintenance issues is a result of good communication.

“There is definitely a very strong relationship we have between the two offices,” Goodman said.  “Physical Plant has been very responsive to… issues.”

Goodman, who himself lives in the building, said that residents’ speedy reporting of problems usually allows them to be resolved quickly and not become serious inconveniences.  He said his office receives monthly reports from Physical Plant detailing the number and type of maintenance requests from residents, and said that most problems reported were fixed easily and quickly.

“We’re usually hearing about something [from residents] when it wasn’t fixed rather than when it was,” Goodman said, referring to maintenance problems that residents did not report to Physical Plant.  “By the time we get the feedback the problem has usually persisted.”

Goodman says that the internal organization of Physical Plant also contributes to overall fast fixes in the residence hall.

“One thing that’s unique about this campus is that there’s a group in Physical Plant that specifically works on residence halls,” Goodman said.  Goodman said that a trained plumber is a member of this group, making it easy for plumbing problems in Overlook Manor to be addressed quickly.

While most plumbing problems are small and affect only a small area, larger problems occasionally occur which inconvenience residents in a more significant way, Goodman and residents said.

“Last year someone’s sink broke off and the apartment flooded,” Rousseau said.  “It went into all the floors below too.

Rousseau said that the residents of the apartment with the broken sink were temporarily housed in Horan Hall until their apartment’s sink was fixed and the unit was ready to be inhabited once again.

“In the two years I’ve been here it’s been one apartment where students have had to move out,” Goodman said.  “We determined a range of access to the apartment that they were in and worked with them on moving things over [to Horan].”

While plumbing and other problems have affected a number of Overlook Manor residents, students say their experiences in the building are not far from what they expected.

“They know it’s an older building. They know it’s not the Ritz-Carlton,” Meany said.  “There are going to be some problems.”