Cheyney installs new water heater, dormitory now has hot water

Cheyney University had simultaneous water-related problems last weekend at four buildings, including the LLC Dormitory. — TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO

Administrators at Cheyney University are working to fix problems caused by broken water heaters, burst pipes and malfunctioning sprinkler systems that occurred last weekend.

Students who live in the LLC Dormitory at the historically Black university in Delaware County have hot water again. Residents lost hot water when the dorm’s main water heater failed last Friday night and the backup also malfunctioned.

“Students had water when they woke up this morning,” Cheyney President Aaron Walton told The Philadelphia Tribune on Thursday afternoon. “Everything is back to normal as of this morning — at 4 a.m.”

Walton said a technician checked the water heater to make sure it was installed properly and the college will also replace the backup.

Students and parents were kept abreast of the situation with notifications Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.

In addition to repairs at the LLC Dormitory, problems with the sprinkler system at the Marcus Foster Student Center caused flooding Saturday night. The building reopened Monday.

Burleigh and Biddle halls, two older buildings on campus, experienced flooding due to water leakage from burst pipes.

“The other things are acts of nature; you can’t stop water leaks in buildings,” Walton said. “When you have a cold winter and pipes freeze, things happen.”

The region experienced its most frigid weather so far this winter from last Wednesday night through the weekend, when temperatures reached 7 degrees and below before they headed above 32 degrees on Sunday.

Biddle Hall serves as the main administrative building; it reopened and the water damage is being worked on. Burleigh Hall houses the Enrollment Management Department, and it will remain closed due to significant damage; university officials temporary relocated the office and its staff.

“We were able to keep things moving, relocate staff so that the functions that support the students can continue to go,” Walton said. “We met our challenges head on and we are moving forward.”

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