By Brooke Retowski and Kirsten Nguyen, The Whetstone
Freshman Lexus Christopher was confused when she and her roommate saw people moving out of Carpenter Hall.
“My roommate pointed out that people were moving out and then my resident assistant came up and said, ‘Is your room flooding, too?” she said.
Christopher realized Carpenter Hall was flooding and was told to prepare herself, which meant, like everyone else, she had to gather her things in the middle of the room.
Freshman and Carpenter Hall resident Erica Finnegan didn’t realize what was happening either.
“I was just sitting in the car and saw people packing their cars up and leaving,” she said.
Carpenter Hall was vandalized on Oct. 26. The vandal, or vandals, caused the flood by clogging sinks, toilets, and showers and leaving the water running.
“Someone broke into the gym and took the weights to make the toilet continuously flush causing it to flood more,” freshman Telyka Brooker-Parqet said.
The flooding displaced many students and caused extensive damages to the newly-renovated building.
Students were notified later that night by email from President Clark.
Residents soon discovered the extent and nature of the damage.
“We started walking around after hearing about it and we saw feces and that’s when we knew it wasn’t just water,” freshman Delaney Miller said.
“I went to go see the room that was flooding and it was like raining in their room,” Christopher said. “It was coming down from the ceiling.”
Clark’s email expressed sincere disappointment.
“The thing that bothered me so much was that this is our home and to watch a few people disregard that was a very disappointing thing,” he said.
Maintenance worked to clean up the flood right away.
“The first night we started cleaning up some of the flooding ourselves, but we also called in professionals from Servpro, and they came in with a large crew,” maintenance worker Frankie Martin said.
Brooker-Parqet said the smell in the building was so bad she went home.
“The first night Servpro cleaned everything up, got the water up, and put a disinfectant down,” Martin said. “The next day they came in wiped down all the furniture and the walls throughout the whole building and then they used this other disinfectant.”
Carpenter was renovated this summer with new furniture, lights, ceiling tiles, paint, baseboards, and new floors in every room. The flooding damaged about 20 of the rooms. Students whose rooms were damaged were relocated in other resident halls on campus.
“Some rooms couldn’t be cleaned right away because we had to wait for people to move their stuff out, but Servpro were able to get in there and clean it real nice,” Martin said.
“I am impressed with the overall fast response from students, student affairs, and the faculty,” Clark said.
Most of the baseboards in the rooms had to be replaced along with ceiling tiles.
Everybody started moving back in Oct 29-30.
Christopher said some of her neighbors had personal belongings damaged and it’s still unclear whether they will be reimbursed for their losses.
“So far, they’re letting people have free laundry if their belongings got destroyed,” she said.
Clark said Wesley is in contact with the insurance company, and Dean of Students Wanda Anderson will be meeting with students whose belongings were damaged.
“This will also be a process but it will get done as soon as everything with the insurance company is settled,” he said.
The school doesn’t know yet how much the cleanup cost.
The damages didn’t just effect the residents.
“I was heartbroken because of all the time and money we put into there and now we’re back in there again with everything being brand new,” Martin said.
“Although the actions of the flooding overall was disappointing,” Clark said, “the support I saw given to the residents in Carpenter reminded me that, that is the Wesley way of things.”
It is still unclear who vandalized Carpenter Hall, but school officials said they have narrowed the suspects down.
“I cannot give out specific names to whom we have narrowed down to, but with the information we have a few individuals who have kept popping up when people come forward,” Clark said. “This is a felony offense and we will not tolerate that at our home that we worked hard to over the summer to improve for incoming students.”