Repair efforts ongoing at SSC following winter storm

The Shawnee News-Star
SSC Professor of Social Sciences Marta Osby prepares to temporarily move out of her office in the Milt Phillips Building and relocate across campus until flooding damage has been addressed.

Seminole State College experienced an extensive amount of damage across its campus due to the recent winter storm. The College’s maintenance and custodial staff have identified many issues and addressed a number of repairs over the past week, but some cleanup and restoration efforts will span the next few months.

Flooding due to frozen and busted water pipes occurred in several classroom buildings. A number of science labs and classrooms were flooded on south end of the Tanner Hall, resulting in approximately one-third of the campus’ largest classroom building to be closed for repair.

The Milt Phillips Building, located near the center of campus, had extensive damage from water flooding classrooms and offices. Although originally thought to be one of the hardest hit areas, the building is now scheduled to be reopened next week.

Damages to two classrooms and offices in the David L. Boren Library was also caused by flooding. Those areas are being dried and carpets replaced.

Both of the College’s large residence halls were affected by the storm. The Roesler Residential Learning Center was without heat and hot water for several days, but those issues have been corrected. During the extreme temperatures, sprinkler pipes broke in the Seminole Nation Residence Hall. The sprinkler system was repaired, but flooring and other interior damages in isolated rooms are still being addressed.

The SSC Softball Sports Complex suffered broken water lines, drainage issues and frozen valves. Repairs are expected to be completed on facilities at the Complex this week. A minor leak has been repaired in the Raymond Harber Field House and frozen pipes in the E.T. Dunlap Student Union restrooms have been fixed. In the Enoch Kelly Haney Center, multiple sprinkler lines were broken. The lines have been repaired, carpets have been dried and some minor damage to interior walls will be addressed soon.

All areas with water damage have been treated for abetment of issues related to mold and mildew.

SSC President Lana Reynolds said there were a number of residential students on campus during the storm. She said their efforts in responding to these incidents was extremely helpful in containing a lot of damage to limited areas of the residence hall.

She also said that SSC Director of Physical Plant and Campus Safety Ed Lemmings and SSC Police Chief Shane Marshall, and their staff and officers, worked diligently and tirelessly during the crisis to protect the students and SSC facilities.

“I cannot stress enough how lucky we were to have Campus Police and members of our maintenance and custodial services crew on hand last week to find leaks, fix plumbing and gas problems, organize clean-up efforts and begin repairs,” Reynolds said. “While a lot went wrong last week – I saw much that went right. We want to thank everyone for their help, patience and their positive comments and support.”

The College is continuing to assess and document all damages and repairs needed in each building on campus. While repair and replacement costs are mounting, the College has been in contact with the State’s Risk Management insurance and will have their assistance in the recovery efforts, according to Reynolds. Additionally, financial relief through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is expected.

Offices reopened on Monday following the storm, but classes were held virtually through Wednesday to allow for cleanup and repairs to occur with limited traffic on campus. In-person instruction resumed on Thursday.

Due to flooding caused by frozen and busted water pipes, carpet and other damaged materials were removed from several classrooms in Tanner Hall.