The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

Flood forces classroom closures


It wouldn’t be the start of a new school year without a few hiccups. This year is no exception at Fresno City College.

At least six classrooms were affected by a flood caused by leaks in the pipes of the Math and Science Building.

A leak in one of the classrooms on the top floor caused damage from top to bottom.

The bottom floor has some more severe damage and even a closed-off hazard area.

“We’re very fortunate that there was an instructor here on that Saturday, and the dean was here … Cheryl [Sullivan], the vice president of instruction were incredible in terms of coming in and dealing with the issue,” said Tony Cantu, president of the college.

“They were here Saturday, Sunday very, very late to make sure that everything got taken care of.”

Sullivan said that things looked bleak on that first day.
“Saturday when you walked into the flood, it was like ‘we’ll never have school again.’” The next day is was almost like it hadn’t happened,” Sullivan said.

Carl Johansson, a biology instructor whose class was moved because of the flood said,

“[The change in classrooms] reduced my lab size by two-thirds. That really didn’t have an effect on any students currently enrolled or on the waitlist.” Johansson said.

Several students said the move was “a real inconvenience” and that they “didn’t know until the first day of class.”

Zachary Potter, an engineering major, said his math course was moved.

He didn’t check his school email, so he didn’t know about the move until the first day of school.

Potter said his class was told that “it will be a couple of months in the OAB.”

That apparently isn’t the case for every class.
Chong Xiong, who is completing his general education requirements, said he was told that the relocation of his math class to OAB 125 is a “permanent move.”

The total cost of the damage remains unknown, but State Center Community College District’s Vice Chancellor of Operations Brian Speece said that the building is insured and the district is paying the $5,000 deductible.

It will be “several weeks” before the classrooms with minimal damage will be set to reopen; several rooms on the bottom floor will be closed for considerably longer.

Speece explained that the rooms with heavy damage require the replacement of floors, ceiling tiles and even the walls.

In addition, there is a hazard area that is sealed off because those areas contained asbestos.

Speece said that the heavily damaged areas will be closed for a “couple of months.”

There are some rooms that have a higher priority than others in terms of repairs.

Unique rooms like the chemistry lab are more important because they only exist in that building, whereas the basic classrooms won’t have as many issues if they are moved to a different location.

The museum and the biology lab in S-120 are closed, and students in that lab were relocated to the Health Science building according to Speece.

He is expecting that S-120 will be ready in two to three weeks.

“The first one that we’re really focusing on trying to get back is a lab class,” President Cantu said.

Sullivan declined to give an exact timeline for reopening the biology lab in S-120, but said that it is expected to be ready “in two weeks or less.”

Sidney Thompson and Thalia Gonzales contributed to the reporting of this story.

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