Straz shut down by burst pipe

Straz+is+no+stranger+to+issues+within+their+dining+facilities

Photo by Sydney Czyzon

Straz is no stranger to issues within their dining facilities

Jordan Bennett, a first-year in the College of Arts & Sciences, was walking through Straz Tower when she found water all over the first floor. She soon realized that the water wasn’t from a spill in the dining hall, there was water dripping from the ceiling.

The reason for the sudden accumulation of water on the first floor was a burst pipe in the Straz dining hall.

“I actually walked in on it when I was coming out of the gym and my initial reaction was ‘I am standing in a puddle,’ and someone to my left just slipped and fell,” Bennett said. 

Though the pipe burst last Wednesday, the dining hall just reopened its services for students yesterday. Students were unable to eat at the facilities while the pipe was being fixed. 

“Initially my jaw dropped because I was so shocked to see water coming out of the ceiling,” Bridgette Lindell, first-year in the College of Arts & Sciences, said.

Lindell was working the desk at Straz Tower Wednesday afternoon when the pipe suddenly burst during the middle of her shift.

“I noticed the pipe burst because I heard a bunch of water coming down from the ceiling in the cafeteria. It sounded like a fountain but way louder,” Lindell said.

Many Straz residents eat in the dining hall in the building, as the other dining options are at least a block away. The closest other dining hall being Cobeen Hall. On the weekends dining options in the AMU are limited, as Marquette Place is closed on the weekends. The Brew Cafe is open for students on weekends though.

“I can confirm the burst and the dining rooms were expected to open again this morning,” Kevin Conway, university spokesperson, said in an email. 

“One change to Straz as a result of the pipe bursting is that the dining hall was closed until everything was able to be fixed. This was an inconvenience to residents who regularly eat in that dining hall,” Lindell said.

Bennett was one of the Straz residents who had to adjust to the dining hall closure.

“It takes little bit longer from getting to class because now I have to take the stairs, but also eating because the cafeteria is closed. Now I have to walk in the cold or take a LIMO, but it could be worse,” Bennett said.

This is not the first instance of a water pipe bursting in Straz. Last year, in the middle of February, a fire alarm was set off as a result of bursting water pipes. Residents were then forced to evacuate in cold temperatures. There were also issues of snow being found in stairwells on the 18th floor.

“I didn’t know at the time but I overheard that a pipe burst and that was the reason for all the water. I wasn’t specifically told what to say but I just told everyone that a pipe burst and that they should be careful of where they were walking,” Lindell said. 

The university started leasing space from the present-day Straz Tower back in 1974 and eventually purchased the building in 1993. It was most recently renovated by Marquette back in 2000, which is now over 20 years ago.

Straz has had other problems with their dining facilities within the past year. Cases of norovirus were confirmed in the dining facilities and throughout the residence hall. Norovirus is a highly contagious stomach virus that can result in diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach pain. 

Currently the dining hall is back open and serving their famous stir fry and other foods to Straz residents and the greater Marquette community.

Connor Baldwin and Julia Abuzzahab contributed to this report.

This story was written by Megan Woolard. She can be reached at megan.woolard@marquette.edu