Burst pipe damages artwork and computers

2/21/2007 8:00:00 AM

The University of Nevada, Reno Church Fine Arts Building sustained flood damage when a water pipe burst in a third floor ceiling shortly before 8 p.m., Feb. 19. Students working in a photography laboratory notified authorities and evacuated immediately. No injuries were reported.

"Personal safety is an overriding priority and we take precautions to ensure that faculty and students are safe in our facilities. We are thankful that there was no loss of life or injuries reported," said Heather Hardy, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. "The Reno firefighters who responded quickly determined that no hazardous materials exposure occurred so we can restore operations to normal as quickly as possible."

Damage to Church Fine Arts Building includes the photography research office, theater property room, a portion of the third floor ceiling, floor tiles, seven computer workstations, scanners and printers.

University administrators and facilities management personnel are compiling inventories to determine additional losses. Estimates will be expected in a few days.

Students assisted University crews to salvage artwork but much of the art stored on the third floor is expected to be a complete loss.

"The creativity and artwork is irreplaceable and represents a serious loss to the campus and community," Hardy said.

Flood damage is contained to the Church Fine Arts Building. Nightingale Concert Hall is not affected.

"Photography classes have been canceled today and we are moving to alternate classrooms," said Joe DeLappe, chairman of the art department. "We anticipate that photography darkrooms will be usable by the end of the week and students will have access to necessary supplies and equipment to continue their work."


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