Water leaks in Orange Coast College’s Literature, Language and Social Sciences Building prompted C.W. Driver construction teams to cover portions of the building with plastic barriers. These will act as a preventative measure to ensure no further damage is caused and classes can remain undisturbed.
During the rainstorms that ravaged Southern California in December and January, water began to appear in the building from leaks with the damage soon following.
“It seems like it’s the areas of the building in plastic that will have to be repaired,” Vice President of Student Services Rich Pagel said. “The other parts of the building seem to be holding up ok.”
According to Pagel, major repairs are likely to wait until the summer when fewer students are on campus. The plastic tarp barriers will stay in place until the damage caused by the rain and flooding is fixed. There have been no class cancellations or postponements due to the water damage.
“The total repairs are not done yet,” Pagel said. “Maybe some of the carpets might still have water stains on it. I think they’re waiting to make the repairs and then they’ll have to come back to replace all of that.”
Several other buildings around campus have experienced flooding, but none have the significant water damage of LLSS.
“We know the designs are good. It's just the components,” Pagel said. “Something in the building materials just didn’t work like it should. It failed.”
C.W. Driver employees came to address the issues at a Coast Community College District facilities meeting in February. While they cooperated with OCC, and are working to fix the water damage, they declined to make a statement to Coast Report regarding the barriers.
“They had done some water testing,” Pagel said. “They thought maybe the water was coming in from a couple different locations but when they determined that it was the heavy rains in January, that’s when they had put up the plastic barriers.”
OCC representatives also surveyed the building to make sure students could continue to learn safely.
“We’ve had our environmental health and safety representatives out to make sure conditions are safe,” Pagel said.
The plastic barriers are stopping the damage from getting worse, according to Pagel.
“We know now that the plastic wrap is definitely helping, It’s keeping the water out,” he said. “But it can’t go on forever.”
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