Ceiling Leaks in Communication Department Cause Inconvenience 

By Grace Cardinal, Staff Writer

Leaks caused by the new air conditioning system in the communication department are making it difficult to navigate around the office’s technology storage room.

Jeffrey Anderson, manager of media technology at Manhattan College, spoke about the difficulties faced by the department following the leaks.

“The leak became an issue probably about two weeks ago when we noticed they had done an air conditioner replacement to the unit of the ceiling, and there was a delay getting that work done,” Anderson said. “Then, once they completed the work, we didn’t notice anything for the first week, and then the ceiling started taking on water. That’s when we noticed it was actually dripping.”

Ceiling tiles in the technology storage room began to take on water to the point that they became inches thick and started to droop. 

“I would say that it had to be several gallons of water, because the ceiling was really saturated,” Anderson said. “The tiles grew to be about two and a half to three inches thick, just from water. They were kind of like a sponge, and they continued to take the water until they started to sag in the ceiling and then they would crack out and fall.” 

Stress levels ran high as staff were forced to move equipment, which interrupted daily work. Having the technology inventory elsewhere made it hard to keep track of. 

Joe Ruggiero, producer and director in the communications department, commented on the limited access to the technology room and how the staff had to keep track of inventory. 

“We had to have our student workers remove all of our technology and all of the equipment out of that room into our conference room, which we couldn’t use for a couple of weeks,” Ruggiero said. “It’s tough to keep track of everything and inventory, because it’s expensive stuff and it’s got to be kept safe because any water is going to destroy it.”

The loss of the conference room was a major inconvenience for staff and students alike, especially in a week packed with advising appointments.

“It’s tough because we can’t use the conference room for many meetings, whether it’s The Quad or PRSSA or any of our other student clubs,” Ruggiero said. “Sometimes I like to meet in the conference room with advisors, and our copy machine is in there. I’m trying to get to the supplies that are in there. Every time we’re trying to go in there for something quick, we have to step over equipment, we have to be careful of everything.” 

The leak caused issues beyond just a wet ceiling and threats to the hundreds of dollars worth of equipment stored in the room. The situation was disruptive to daily work and created  a ripple effect of inconveniences for anyone needing to use the department’s facilities.

Arshia Anwer, associate professor in the communication department, spoke about the difficulties she faced when dealing with the leak situation. 

“It majorly disrupts my work as workmen haul equipment in and out of the suite of offices or the noise levels go up when an immediate fix is being implemented, making concentration and work impossible,” Anwer said. “The men working on the issue are very courteous, but the nature of the work itself is very disruptive to the workplace.”

Physical Plant was believed to have solved the issue the week of Halloween. Unfortunately, the repairs did not hold and the leak returned shortly after. It has yet to be readdressed by Physical Plant.

Michael Grabowski, chair of the communication department, spoke about the next steps of placing a work order to address the situation and the wait to hear a response from Physical Plant. 

“Last week, we noticed the drip starting to happen again, so we put the buckets back out to catch the drips and put in a work order. We’re just waiting for Physical Plant to come back now and address it,” Grabowski said. “It’s certainly less than it was before, the problem is better, but it’s not completely solved yet. It’s just a matter of finishing the job, making sure that it doesn’t leak and confirm that it won’t leak,” 

The hope for future issues is that they will be resolved in a more timely manner.

“I understand in older buildings, there are always going to be maintenance issues and we try to work through them as best we can,” Ruggiero said. “My goal is to make whatever issues pop up be as least disruptive as possible. It’s unfortunate this incident was more disruptive, but I don’t know what else could’ve been done. I’m hoping that the next main issue that happens is resolved in a more timely fashion.”