Sewage seeps into Dickey Hall classrooms

By Scarlett Springate

One inch of sewage flooding several rooms in Dickey Hall forced College of Education administrators to move several classes from the building yesterday.

The backup happened while the city was repairing a sewage line near Bolivar Street, said John Zachem, UK manager of mechanical services. Workers were using pumps to reroute sewage flow around the damaged portion of the sewer line when a malfunction caused flooding in several rooms of Dickey Hall’s basement at about 9:15 a.m.

No classes were meeting in the basement at the time of leak, and administrators were able to move later classes to other available rooms.

Students were largely unaffected by the sewage, said Tricia Adolph, who works in the dean’s office of the College of Education.

“The crews have been doing a pretty good job of containing it and cleaning everything up,” she said.

Classes in the basement of Dickey Hall are expected to resume as normal this morning, Zachem said.

“It was a bad situation, but we’re taking care of it,” he said.

Dickey Hall was the only UK building affected, and a crew from the city was sent to help UK’s physical plant division clean and disinfect the basement.

UK has contracts with several local companies to help if the physical plant division could not handle a sewage leak on its own, said Christy Giles, director of the Office of Emergency Management.

If the leak had affected students, UK would take actions to ensure they were in a safe environment, Giles said. That would include evacuation and relocation if a leak happened in a dorm and even medical attention if necessary.