Campus News

Quadrangle power supplied by generators after outages

The campus experienced a minor mold infestation in the Quadrangle during Spring Break. Some students had to temporarily relocate to other dorms while the problem was resolved. | Esteban Portillo/The Daily Cougar

The Quadrangle is now being powered by generators after a pipe burst in the building causing the electrical system to go out. | Esteban Portillo/The Daily Cougar

Residents at the Taub and Settegast halls of the Quadrangle experienced frequent air-conditioning and power outages last week due to an electrical system failure caused by a busted pipe. Residents were asked to evacuate the building in the early afternoon on Nov. 5 and were not cleared to return to their halls until 10:30 p.m., according to an email sent to residents 

Steam and water from the pipe burst “severely” damaged the electrical system of the Quadrangle, according to the email. Kinesiology sophomore Presley Miller, who lives in Taub Hall, said the first major power outage occurred Nov. 4, and the second last Thursday. She said the first power outage started with “surges” before power to the entire building went out.

Power came back on that day, she said, but the air conditioning was out, and none of the electrical sockets were working.

“We get an email saying that a pipe blew in (Oberholtzer Hall),” Miller said. “Then they decided the next morning at noon that they were just going to tell us to get out. They suggested that we go to a friend’s or family’s house. If not, they would relocate us to (Cougar Village II).”

An email sent to Quadrangle residents Nov. 5 stated that the emergency electrical repairs would take between 24 to 48 hours, and residents could not stay in the building. The repairs were finished earlier than expected, Miller said, and residents were allowed to return. The buildings are currently powered by generators. 

“After we were let back in, the A/C was still not working. It was miserably hot,” Miller said. “It was hot pretty much on and off all week.”

Miller said the air conditioning during the week of Nov. 5 struggled to keep up and cool the building. She said residents were reimbursed $47 — twice a day’s rent — for having to relocate for several hours.

“It’s nice, but $47 is a lot less than a week’s worth of no A/C,” Miller said.

UH Facilities Services brought a generator to power the Quadrangle before a permanent fix could be done, according to an email sent to residents. Miller said the generator was “the size of a U-Haul truck.”

A sensor in the building generator, however, malfunctioned and brought down the power again for 30 minutes Thursday, according to the same email. A backup generator was brought in case “further issues occurred” with the electrical system at the Quadrangle.

Miller said the A/C is now functioning properly along with the power.

This will be the Quadrangle’s last semester having residents before it is demolished next January to build a new Quadrangle. Students must move out by Dec. 15. 

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