The Media Arts Center at Keene State College has had its fair share of leaks over the years, and the most recent one was registered the first week of this semester.
Wednesday, August 28 was a sunny day at KSC. However, water dropped into a Photo Journalism class in Room 160 at the MAC.
KSC senior, Regan Driscoll, who was in the class, said water poured down from the ceiling.
Driscoll said, “One student was at the computer and was shoving everything out of the way to prevent damage.” Her professor, Julio Del Sesto, ran out to get help. Driscoll also said the tiles were discolored immediately after the incident took place.
Unlike other cases, the cause of the leak was not rain spilling through the roof of the MAC. Physical Plant Work Control Supervisor, John Lorette indicated the water leak came from an air handler in the room.
Media Arts Center Administrative Assistant Cheryl Martin was alerted immediately. Martin said when she heard about the leak, she contacted for help.
According to Martin, that “small leak” was not the first in the MAC. “They have occurred all over the place,” said Martin. “They have not been centralized in a specific spot.”
Later on, the Keene State Physical Plant Department staff were at the classroom to evaluate the scene. John Lorette noted the issue did not come from the roof but from the air handler.
“The Media Arts building has an air handler and that controls the temperature of the environment. An air handler does the same function as a dehumidifier as it filters air and draws the water and moisture out of the air,” said Lorette.
According to Lorette, the day of incident was very humid. As a result, there was a lot of condensation that came out of the unit and flowed down a drainpipe in the air handler. “The drain pipe just got clogged up,” said Lorette. He also imagined that it is a fairly common occurrence.
Lorette said he does not think there has been anything like this before. He said, “the Media Arts Center has had roof leaks in the past but this wasn’t a roof leak.”
However, the MAC building has witnessed other incidents in the recent years.
Last fall, students and faculty members complained about mice in the classrooms. Also, leaks were registered in hallways and rooms.
Lorette stated that in this occasion, room 160 only had limited damage. He indicated the ceiling tiles had to be replaced. “I did receive a note that told me no computers were damaged by the leak,” said Lorette. The IT Help Desk confirmed this fact.
In addition, Lorette said the air handler does not need to be replaced.
According to Lorette, the air handler receives regular maintenance. “It is serviced twice a year whether anything goes wrong or not. It is a preventive maintenance schedule,” said Lorette.
As for the crew that responded, it was the in house staff, said Lorette. The tiles have since been replaced and everything is back up and running.
Brian Clemmenson can be contacted at