The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Water line breaks in south wing of UI Tippie College of Business building, causes extensive damage

Water damaged three floors in the south wing of Tippie after a toilet detached from the men’s restroom wall.
Shreya Reddy
An out of service sign is seen on the door of the third-floor men’s bathroom in the Tippie College of Business building in Iowa City on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024.

Some University of Iowa business students’ classes were moved online Tuesday and Wednesday after a water line broke in the Tippie College of Business Pappajohn Business Building Monday night. The water damaged the third and second floors of the south wing of the building.

Barry Thomas, associate dean of Tippie, said one of the toilets in the men’s restroom on the third floor detached from the wall. He said water spewed out of the pipe and damaged subsequent floors. Custodians notified Thomas of the incident around 8 p.m. on Monday.

Thomas said the third and second floors have the most damage and some of the water leaked down into the first floor and parking garage. He added that two faculty offices and an information technology closet on the second floor were affected when the water seeped through the ceiling.

On the third floor, Thomas said the water was a couple of inches high and seeped into various offices and under the walls.

“Now we have to worry about what other damage could have been caused,” Thomas said.

Thomas said because some of the classrooms had water damage and facilities and management was still trying to mitigate the problem, faculty members in that area of the building were asked to conduct virtual classes on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Classes that needed to remain in person didn’t change format and the college was able to work with the university registrar to move classes to other rooms on campus.

Thomas said as of Wednesday, the classrooms are now available and that all classes will be back in person on Thursday. He also said about 15 faculty members and seven staff members are currently unable to use their offices.

UI Facilities Management placed industrial-sized fans and dehumidifiers in the classrooms and hallways of the affected floors.

See more on the damage and how it impacted students:

“We are hoping for the middle of next week to have everything back up and ready to go,” Thomas said.

Thomas said the UI will have to replace the damaged internet switching equipment and the corrosion caused by water damage. Some ceiling work and furniture replacement may need to be done as well.

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“My initial reaction was whether this was going to disrupt classes and my role Monday night was to make sure we got communication out,” Thomas said.

Zaccharias Day, a UI third-year student, said the water damage has made it harder to see his professor in a traditional setting during office hours.

“Not being able to meet them in person is a little weird and they’re not really familiar with Zoom themselves,” Day said. “Some people are really confused about having classes in other rooms and having to take their midterms somewhere else. It’s kind of a culture shock.”

Gracee Dowell, another UI third-year student, said her class was moved online for Tuesday and Thursday.

“I just showed up and they had the doors closed off and all the fans going,” Dowell said.

Dowell said because of the COVID-19 pandemic, taking online classes is normal for her, though it was “weird” to take a quiz online.

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About the Contributor
Shreya Reddy
Shreya Reddy, News Reporter
Shreya Reddy is a freshman at the University of Iowa. Coming from a small town in Kansas, Shreya is double majoring in English and Political Science on the Pre-Law track. Before coming to the Daily Iowan, she has written for her neighborhood magazine and her schools literary magazine as well as writing an investigative journalism piece.