Water leaks, pipe problems lead to relocation of UNK sorority members


Plumbing issues have required the University of Nebraska at Kearney to unexpectedly close a section in one of its residence halls.

Pod B in University Residence North (URN), which houses Alpha Xi Delta sorority members, received water damage Monday evening when a pipe broke on a first-floor hallway. The plumbing pipe is a component of the building’s chiller system.

"A couple weeks ago by chance we had some other water damage, it was a pipe in the restroom area. Now this plumbing issue was on the first floor in a hallway associated with an air conditioning unit. We have some ceiling tile damage, some damage to the walls and the hallways with the the water. Until we can get that repaired, we had to move those kids to another residence hall into a different location," said Todd Gottula, communications director for University of Nebraska-Kearney.

Although damage was minimal, it required UNK to relocate all 31 sorority members living there.

After further assessing the building’s plumbing Tuesday, concerns about the stability of URN Pod B systems remain. In order to minimize disruptions, UNK is closing Pod B for the remainder of the academic year.

Alpha Xi Delta members are being moved to other areas of URN, University Residence South (URS) and Centennial Towers East (CTE) residence halls on campus. The sorority will continue to have access to public spaces for its chapter in Pod B. UNK will assist all students relocating to CTE and other parts of URS and URN, which are located on the west side of campus and serve as housing for fraternity and sorority members.

“Our goal remains to remedy this situation and to bring our students the least disruptions to their study, social and personal lives, while maintaining the integrity and cohesiveness of their communities,” said George Holman, associate dean of student affairs and director of residence life.

University Residence North, opened in 1992, includes four pods and currently houses 126 students in two sororities and two fraternities. The section being taken offline – which houses Alpha Xi Delta – has a bed capacity of 51. Pod-style residence halls feature rooms shared by two students, with a designated chapter room, formal lounge and study room.

In addition to Monday’s incident, Pod B had two other situations over the past six weeks when a water leak caused damage inside the residence hall.

“UNK Student Affairs and Greek Life professionals are working together with student leadership to ensure students are communicated with and supported,” Holman said.

Gottula tells NTV News they are leaving the decision up the sorority on whether they want to move into CTE together or split up into different areas around campus.

He says he is unsure of how much the damage will cost and exactly how long the dorm will be closed for. Gottula says he believes it won't be sometime until next year.

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