published Friday, January 10th, 2014

UTK working to fix problems caused by freeze

Students walk across campus at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in this 2005 file photo.
Students walk across campus at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in this 2005 file photo.

KNOXVILLE — With spring semester beginning on Wednesday, employees at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have been working around the clock to fix problems caused by the recent freeze.

According to the university, the cold has caused both plumbing and heating system problems in academic buildings, dormitories, fraternities and sororities, and sports facilities.

Dave Irvin, associate vice chancellor for facilities services, told the Knoxville News Sentinel that the estimated damages so far were $250,000.

"Some of those folks haven't gone home since Sunday night. They've been sleeping in their offices or sleeping in the buildings that have issues," Irvin said. "They'll take a six-hour cat nap and then go right back at it."

UT Housing has offered temporary rooms to the residents of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Alpha Tau Omega fraternities, which experienced electrical problems associated with the cold weather.

The freezing temperatures also burst pipes at Regal Soccer Stadium, Sherri Parker Lee Stadium and Neyland Stadium, where the worst damage appears to be to the carpet.

Most of the damage is expected to be covered by insurance, he said, adding that UT has already been in touch with the state risk management office.

"The biggest issues were in residence halls and athletics because that's where we have the most plumbing and more piping that was close to the outside or actually exposed to the elements," he said.

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