After a week of dealing with the consequences of nearly a foot of flooding, residents of Gregory College House have finally received help.
The flooding, which occurred on March 27 on the second floor of the college house, was reported to Business and Residential Services the day it occurred. However, no action was taken until yesterday, when staff members were dispatched to help clean up the flood.
Business Services spokesperson Barbara Lea-Kruger explained that the delay was due to the fact that Gregory was not a “priority” for Penn at the time.
“We have quite a bit on our plate this time of the year, and frankly, preference is given to the Quad and the high rises because that’s where the student interest is,” she said, acknowledging that the University does not always give Gregory its “full attention.”
She added that she anticipates Gregory residents will be able to return to their rooms within a month.
The flooding occurred after several pipes burst, according to Facilities and Real Estate Services Executive Director of Operations and Maintenance Ken Ogawa. The pipes, which are over 50 years old, were unable to handle the pressure created by the fluctuating weather patterns over the past few weeks, he explained.
Gregory House Dean Christopher Donovan was displeased with Penn’s response time.
“When Harrison flooded earlier this semester, they took care of it immediately,” he said. “I even heard Penn gave them iPads as compensation.”
Over the past week, students have reportedly been forced to camp out in the hallways and the study lounges. Many, though, have taken the situation in stride.
“Though it’s been tough living in the hallway with 60 other people, it’s also been a lot of fun,” College sophomore Sara Jeane said. “I try to think of it as a giant slumber party.”
Students have even created an alternative crest for Gregory to commemorate their experience. It features two different hands joined together over an image of a flooded house to highlight their solidarity.
“No matter how bad the situation, there’s always a silver lining,” Wharton junior Peter Xu said. “Now, we’re more united than ever before.”
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