WSC recovering from backlash after response to frozen water pipe break
WAYNE, Neb. -- Wayne State College is picking up the pieces from some backlash over how they handled a frozen water pipe break in Anderson Hall during the holidays that resulted in widespread damage and dozens of missing items for students.
The pipes have since been restored and every floor but the third is back up and running for students.
The Director of College Relations Jay Collier said numerous things were affected by the incident.
“There was wet insulation, damaged ceiling tiles, wet mattresses, furniture, and then student property was also affected,” Collier said.
The college called ‘Servpro’, a company that specializes in damage restoration on the day of the pipe break to assess the damage and salvage any items.
Collier said the initial process of gathering student items along with the widespread damage created some disorganization.
“It was a lot of confusion,” Collier said. “There was a lot of stuff floating around. There was a lot of damaged tiles that had fallen into rooms on top of bedding. We worked really hard to get in and clean and restore the rooms.”
When students got back to campus, reports started to come in about missing items.
In the housing contracts, the college actually isn’t responsible for belongings damaged in events like this.
As soon as the event happened, the school made the decision to reimburse the students as much as they can.
The reason? Collier said they wanted to do the right thing.
“There was never any hesitation on our part,” Collier said. “Many of our students are low income. First-generation students. Replacing everything they lost in a room would be a hardship.”
Some parents reached out to the school and expressed their displeasure with how they handled the situation along with all of the missing items.
But Collier mentioned he’s satisfied with how the school responded.
“We felt confident in our response,” Collier said. “We felt like we were doing the right thing and still feel like we’ve done the right thing. We ask for patience. We ask for students to continue to work and communicate with us as they move through this process so that we can hopefully reunite them with their belongings.”
Wayne State officials said one to three trucks from Lincoln were expected to arrive sometime on Wednesday full of items saved during the event by the restoration company.
The college hopes to get most of the missing items back to students as soon as they can.