Memorial University is back on its feet and open for classes again, but it didn’t come through the electricity crisis unscathed.
Damage was extensive to MUN’s arts and administration building annex as a result of flooding earlier in the week. — Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram
University president Gary Kachanoski said that a few buildings got hit with serious water damage after pipes burst during the blackouts.
“In the arts building annex, for example, we’ve had significant flooding. We had a burst pipe there,” he said. “We had water on the top floor came down through five floors. So we’ve had 45 classrooms and offices damaged. We’re having to remove carpets and take gyproc and insulation out.”
The Marine Institute also had some flooding due to burst pipes in the sprinkler system.
University residences lost power and heat, but the university had generators to ease the strain and set up warming centres when the heat failed.
“We were able to make sure that all our students were warm and safe and secure and being fed,” Kachanoski said.
The College of the North Atlantic is also getting back on track after several days of closure due to the outages.
Spokesman Stephen Lee said there weren’t any major residence issues.
“There were no students in the Burin residence during the outages so we didn’t have any issues there, and in Bay St. George we had a few students in residence, but the power outages were infrequent,” he said in an email.
“I believe the power only went out twice the entire time, and (the outages) were of short duration — approximately an hour each time, so again, we didnít have any issues there either.”
A couple days of lost teaching time won’t make a huge difference to the calendar, Kachanoski said, but it’ll mean less wiggle room if there are any more snow days.
Lee said the college will be able to adjust easily, because luckily the outages happened right at the start of the semester.
“With regard to the lost class time, we always anticipate losing days in the winter semester due to weather, so we plan for it, but also, because this happened at the beginning of the winter semester, there is ample opportunity to make up the lost time,” he said. “We don’t anticipate our instructors will have any issues making up the lost instruction time.”