There is a 63’ by 42’ hole in the ceiling of the men’s bathroom with a plastic bag covering it in the C-Building from a leak. “I’m afraid a rat or a cockroach might fall out of the hole,” said SAC student Anthony Delgado.
“A hole in the ceiling is the least of the C-Building’s problems,” says ceramics professor Chris Dufala.
The leak was reported to Shannon Kaveney, Director of Physical Plant & Facilities at SAC late Fri Oct 6, “I had the water shut down to prevent any damage to the ceiling,” wrote Kaveney via e-mail. “We repaired the water line Monday morning and the water was restored to the C building immediately following the repair.”
Plumbing has always been a problem in the C-Building. “A sinkhole can happen any minute,” said Dufala who has been teaching at SAC for eight years. “It’s a when rather than an if” added Dufala who had worked in construction prior to becoming a professor.
Repairs for the plumbing in the C-Building will cost nearly $28,000. “And it’s on the pipeline,” says Fine Arts Dean, Dr. Blackburn.
“The current flow of the plumbing is the main problem,” said Dufala.
The first stop in the plumbing route is in room C-210, the paint studio. Students wash all of the art paint -acrylic latex- palettes and brushes in the sink. Dufala describes the incident as sandwich bags clogging the drains.
The second draining stop along the plumbing route is the ceramics studio in room C-105. Students and staff wash and rinse tools in sinks designed for sediment disposal. SAC’s ceramics class produces roughly half an inch of sediment daily.
Sediment traps capture clay sediment from the ceramics studio. Sediment weighs more than water sinking down sediment in the trap and keeping the pipes clean.
Dufala made three traps himself using storage containers to help out with the plumbing flow. “The traps were unusable the first semester I taught here.”
A group of plumbers came to fix the plumbing in the men’s restroom when it was backing up in 2018. They tested how much water was going down the drain and coming back by pumping thirty gallons of water down the drain expecting to see thirty gallons back.
The men’s bathroom in C-Building is the third stop on the plumbing route. It constantly backs up. The reason is clogged pipes with the acrylic latex from the paint room and the sediment from the ceramics studio.
Dufala thinks that in an ideal world, the sediment traps in the ceramics studio should be cleaned twice a week.“ The last time they were cleaned was six months ago,” he said.
Regular maintenance is preventative maintenance to prevent pipes from breaking or backing up. “It’s a simple job, it just needs to be done,” added Dufala.
School officials know students would be affected the most by the work done to the C-Building.
“Repairs will impact students the most,” said Dr. Blackburn. There will be no water running in the building for two weeks, including water fountains, sinks in the art studio, sinks in the ceramics studio and bathrooms. “That’s why we are trying to schedule the repairs for during the winter or summer breaks”.