Clean up continues at buildings damaged by burst water pipes

News-DemocratJanuary 9, 2014 

A day after four metro-east public buildings suffered burst water pipes in the bitter cold, some are still cleaning up the mess.

Water service resumed Thursday at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's brand-new Science West building. According to spokesman Doug McIlhagga, components of the building's natural gas supply froze in the subzero temperatures.

"(That) caused the boilers not to work, which led to freezing pipes and some bursting," McIlhagga said.

None of the science building's electronics or high-priced equipment were damaged, and the cleanup would be completed by the time classes begin Monday, McIlhagga said.

No dollar estimate was immediately available on the science building, but rough estimates were under $10,000 for the water lines.

As to the components in the natural gas system that failed, McIlhagga said the question is "an open one" as they have been focused on cleanup. Construction on the science building finished less than six months ago, and it was dedicated in November.

Meanwhile, work will continue for some time at the Glen Carbon Police Department, which suffered severe damage after broken pipes burst in the building Monday. The 2-inch sprinkler pipe caused extensive damage, which administrator Jamie Bowden said is still being assessed by village staff and contractors.

"The village will work as quickly as possible to restore the building to its original condition," Bowden said.

In the meantime, dispatchers are working out of the Madison County Sheriff's Department, though the Glen Carbon building remains open, Bowden said.

The Wildey Theater and Madison County Administration buildings also were damaged by burst pipes this week. Both buildings sustained only minor damage. However, Monday was the first day in 32 years that the administration building has been closed for weather, according to spokesman Jeff Wehling.

Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com or 239-2507.

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