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The Underground was underwater.

The Hill College House basement recreation rooms -- known as the Underground -- flooded Monday night when pumps meant to keep groundwater out of the building failed.

E-mail notices were sent around the dormitory warning residents of the "massive flooding problem" and "a number of health concerns associated with anyone going down" into the affected areas.

Housing officials said last night that the flooding was being addressed and that the health warning exaggerated the severity of the situation.

Yet a Facilities employee who did not want his name printed said the flooding is indicative of larger problems with the maintenance of Hill.

"This is a problem building," he said. "You need new everything."

"How can the University build new buildings and not even maintain the old buildings?" he asked.

Facilities officials and Hill House Dean Amy Pollock did not return calls for comment yesterday.

Noting that the area remains closed, Director of Housing and Conference Services Doug Berger said, "Mainly it was electrical things" like treadmills and other equipment that prompted the closure of the water-logged area.

"There was no sewage, no health risks or anything," he said. "I guess it was a health risk if you electrocute yourself, but we look at it more as a safety issue."

Hill residents expressed concern and annoyance about the flood.

"I was walking downstairs and I'm like, 'Whoa, it's wet,'" Wharton freshman and Underground work-study employee Chris Bennett said. "I want to get back to work -- it sucks." He added that the recreation rooms were in "really nasty" condition because of the flooding.

Other residents were less emphatic about their complaints.

"It's kind of annoying," College freshman Tracy Bienenfeld said. "As long as our floor doesn't flood, I don't really care."

College freshman Becky Mead said she was "not really" concerned about the Underground.

"I don't go down there all the time," she said, noting that the flooding did cause her to worry about the general condition of the building.

Housing officials were optimistic about completing the clean-up quickly.

"Hopefully it will be back up and operating," Berger said.

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