NOV. 27, 2002
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu

Officials at California State University, Bakersfield hope to reopen the water-damaged Student Union building by Jan. 6, 2003, the start of the university's winter quarter.

The building has been closed since Nov. 18 when a pipe burst overnight flooding the building. Bob Brown, director of facilities management at CSUB, said a 2-1/2-inch pipe located in a custodial room broke, flooding the building and causing substantial damage.

The pipe break and flooding closed all operations in the building except for the Runner Bookstore. Those offices and operations affected are the student union office, the Safe 1 Credit Union, student government office, Student Life office, and Wiley's Pub. Bill Perry, assistant vice president for student life, said the student union staff, student government staff and the Student Life staff are being accommodated temporarily in other offices on campus. The Runner Bookstore, on the east end of the Student Union, was not much affected by the flooding and has resumed normal hours. The credit union and pub will reopen when the building does.

Mike Neal, CSUB vice president of business and administrative services, said the university is moving quickly to repair and reopen the building. "Our goal is to have the building reopened by the start of the winter quarter," he said. "We've identified the damage to the building and the scope of the work to be done. We've solicited bids from contractors to do the job, but until we open the bids next week we won't know exactly what the cost will be. Insurance will cover some of the repair cost, but we have a $100,000 deductible, so that amount will have to be paid by the Student Union, which is a university auxiliary organization." He said that some $50,000 had already been spent on cleanup and drying the building out.

The building will require extensive work, including new sections of drywall, painting, wall-covering, base trim, carpeting and vinyl flooring, electrical repairs, cabinet repair and reinstallation, plumbing repairs and cleanup.

Neal said the section of pipe that broke has been saved for examination, but that no determination would be made as to what might have caused the break until sometime later. "Our first priority is to repair and reopen the building," he said.