The drying out of campus following flooding from broken attic sprinkler system pipes in South Hall and Main Building is running ahead of schedule, said Lynda Sirk, Antioch University Director of Public Relations. “The damage is not as extensive as we believed when [Munters, the company providing mitigation of the water damage] first came on campus. We’ll be able to salvage everything and have Main Building back to its original state except for a few damaged ceiling tiles,” stated Sirk.
Sirk said damage was confined to the central areas of Main Building. “The registrar’s office, AEA and the music department stayed dry” she declared.
South Hall should be done in two to three days, said a Munters worker who wished to remain anonymous. The mitigation of Main Building will take longer, another worker said, because the painted plaster walls need a long time to dry. Wednesday morning the workers said they were waiting for a decision from Tom Faecke, Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer of Antioch University, on whether they could begin removing paint from the plaster walls so that the walls could be dried more efficiently.
“Without proper ventilation and heating, moisture from condensation may damage plaster, cause paint to peel, stain woodwork and warp floors. If such conditions are allowed to continue, structural damage may occur,” according to a 2008 letter to Antioch University from Glen Harper, Manager of Preservation Services for the Ohio Historical Society listed on the Antioch Papers website. Sirk said she was not concerned about moisture from condensation or other sources causing mold or other damage to Main Building in the future; “ It’s so dry, it will take time for moisture to build up again.” She said the University and the Antioch College Continuation Corporation would continue to work with Stanley Consultants on how to maintain campus buildings.
In the meantime, Greene County resident Otha Davenport is planning to present the petition he initiated to the Ohio attorney general in Columbus on Friday morning, February 27th. The petition asks for investigation of what Davenport calls the “missteps” of the Antioch University Board of Trustees in bringing about the closing of the College. According to state law, five or more county residents can call for the investigation of a nonprofit that has failed its duty to serve the public interest. “The University [administrators] seem to think they’re a private company, but they’re a nonprofit. They don’t pay village, Greene County, state or federal taxes,” Davenport said.