Two freshman students were forced out of their dorm room in the Quad on Wednesday after the ceiling collapsed.
College freshman Connor Hsu and Engineering freshman Gabriel Frydman were relocated to another dorm room in Sansom Place East on Wednesday, and repairs to their room in the Quad began Saturday morning. Still, however, the two don't know when they will be able to return home.
“They set us up in a room here for the time being, but we’re not really sure how long that will be,” said Hsu.
On Wednesday, Hsu noticed a large crack in the ceiling, spanning nearly wall to wall just a few feet from the windows when he returned to his room in Coxe in Ware College House.
Hsu continued on to classes, but when he returned, he noticed the crack had gotten significantly larger. He said the ceiling surrounding the crack began to bulge as time elapsed, prompting him to clear off belongings and valuables from the desks located directly beneath the section of the damaged ceiling, just as it was caving in.
“As I was [clearing off the desk] I heard the cracking sound and a bunch of plaster just fell,” Hsu said. “There was plaster all over the room and floor and everything.”
The students packed clothes for multiple days and brought along toiletries, though they still have access to their old room if they need to gather any other belongings.
Engineering and Wharton junior Jiho Lee, who is the students’ residential advisor, said Thursday he knew of the incident but was unaware of any further steps being taken by the school to solve the issue.
After calling emergency maintenance services and contacting the house manager, Hsu and his roommate were moved to Sansom Place East. They did not hear anything until Friday early afternoon, when they were informed via email that an inspector would come by their room to look at the damage, but they still do not know when they will be able to return.
This is not the first time ceilings have caved in. In February 2017, a ceiling collapsed in a dorm room in Ware, forcing the roommates to relocate to two single dorms in Fisher Hassenfeld College House. In October 2014, two college freshmen spent 10 days living in the Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel as they waited for repairs to their ceiling and floor after sewage broke through their Quad room ceiling.
Administrators from Penn's Facilities and Real Estate Services, the department responsible for managing facilities issues with housing, declined to provide an on-the-record statement. From Ware College House, one residential advisor, an associate director of building operations, a guest services administrator, and a building administrator/senior house manager, all either did not respond to requests or declined to comment.
After last winter’s ‘Bomb Cyclone,' Harrison College House, Rodin College House, and Harnwell College House — the three on-campus high-rise residential buildings — experienced pipe bursts, flooding, and water damage.
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