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Thursday, May 23, 2024
The Observer

Holy Cross’ Basil Hall experiences ‘destruction’ caused by flooding

On Thursday at Holy Cross College, a seemingly normal afternoon in Basil Hall was upended by a bout of destructive flooding. All three floors of the men’s residence hall were afflicted by the flooding, which damaged both personal property and college facilities.

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Courtesy of Luke Guenther
The hallways of Basil Hall flooded Thursday after a sprinkler burst.


“I was in the hallway with my friends and then the fire alarm went off,” said freshman resident Kyle Hill. “I figured it was just a routine fire alarm mishap, so I left with no foresight of the events that were going to happen and the destruction that was going to occur.” 

Multiple students said that the flooding was the result of an errant volleyball hit on the third floor which broke a sprinkler.

“We were all just chilling on B2 when one of the students in B3 spiked a volleyball on the sprinkler … It just started shooting down like a turret, absolutely destroying the hallway,” freshman Cole Cruickshank said. “It was like you were in the ocean. It was pummeling down on everyone.”

After the fire alarm was triggered and students evacuated the building, firefighters entered and stopped the flooding. Students were then free to reenter the building and survey the damage that had been done.  

“We came back in [and] it was just flooded,” Cruickshank said. “People’s rooms were like a sea.”

In addition to large puddles in the middle of the hallways, brown water damage appeared on roof panels, bathrooms broke and some parts of the roof even collapsed.

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Courtesy of Cole Cruickshank


“My roommate experienced significant water damage on his bed and our bathroom was full of water. One of the panels fell down due to water damage,” Hill said.

Cruickshank corroborated Hill’s account of the bathroom, describing it as “obliterated.” 

Hill, despite the damage that had been done to his room, expressed gratitude for the fact that much of his personal belongings had been spared from the water.

“I consider myself blessed by God and very lucky because the water destruction for the most part did not really affect my things because my bed is on the other side of the room,” he said.

Freshman Ben Mills was also shielded from the worst of his flooding due to the location of his dorm.

“My room was at the opposite end [of the sprinkler],” Mills explained.

Although a few students’ rooms were spared, the damage extended to rooms on all three floors of the dorm. First-floor resident Matt Baldwin, who was away from the dorm when the flooding occurred, returned home to substantial water damage. 

“There was flooding in front of my door and then above the corner of my bed was some flooding. Under my bed was a pool. It was tragic,” Baldwin said.

Some students even abandoned ship, seeking refuge from the water at nearby hotels.

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Courtesy of Kyle Hill


Despite the serious damage done by the flooding, students say that the administration has been slow to address their concerns.

Residents reported that nothing has been done to fix the stained panels and even broken panels have not yet been replaced. Many students also complained of a new smell in the hallways.

“In the hallway, there’s a stench. There’s a luminous and menacing stench as soon as you enter Basil 2,” Hill said.

Above all, students said they hope that more will be done to address what they see as legitimate concerns.

“There does not seem to be a sense of urgency on the matter. I think it’s a failure of leadership. Especially when there was significant property damage,” Hill said. “People seemed to think the situation was a joke, but I didn’t really find anything funny about it.”