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Flooding temporarily closes Duckering Building

Submitted by Marmian Grimes
Phone: (907) 474-7902


Fairbanks, Alaska--A broken sprinkler line in the Duckering Building at the University of Alaska Fairbanks early Monday afternoon cancelled classes and closed the building for the remainder of the day.

The broken sprinkler line is located inside a small room on the northeast corner of the building's fifth floor. Most of the water from the broken line flowed down a stairwell across the hall, but some water reached offices and other rooms on the remaining floors of the five-story building.

According to Kathleen Schedler, UAF associate vice chancellor for facilities and safety, the pipe burst after it froze sometime between midnight and early afternoon Monday. She said a smoke alarm in the building's welding room went off at about midnight, which in turn shut off the building's circulation fans. Normally, the fans would reset after the alarm was cleared, she said, but for some reason that didn't happen this time. Without proper heat circulation, the pipe froze.

Crews from the University Fire Department and UAF Facilities Services worked throughout the afternoon to clear water and debris from the building. The building is slated to reopen on Tuesday, Nov. 21 and classes are scheduled to resume at normal times.

The Duckering Building was first opened in 1964 and was most recently renovated in 2000-2001. It houses UAF's College of Engineering and Mines and is the second-largest building on campus. At about 150,000 square feet, the Duckering Building includes more than a half-dozen classrooms, offices for CEM faculty and staff, research and teaching labs, and machine shop space.