Recent rains have revealed leaks in some campus buildings due to old roofs, clogged drains and undersized storm systems, UCSB officials said.
Facilities Management is now in the process of repairing leaks in several campus buildings including the Marine Sciences Building, Isla Vista Theater 2 and Bren Hall, said David Gonzales, assistant vice chancellor of physical facilities. The department is also refurbishing the campus’ electrical and drainage infrastructures. The scheduled repairs to the buildings will take around a month to complete, but the new electrical infrastructure will not be finished until 2007, Gonzales said.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Design and Facilities Marc Fisher said Facilities Management attempts to fix all leaks reported to their department, but they are not always easy to repair.
“A few of these problems are not fixable without major infrastructure change,” Fisher said.
A third of the repairs to the campus electrical infrastructure, such as replacing electric lines and cables, are already in progress, Gonzales said. The next two phases of the project will cost approximately $20 million, with the resources coming from a combination of state and campus funds.
Fisher said Facilities Management is trying to raise an additional $90 million for an infrastructure repair program that would replace the water pipes, storm drains, gas pipes and sewer distribution on campus. He said Facilities Management expects that the state will provide 75 percent of the funding while the remaining 25 percent will come from campus funds. The program would seek to assess the conditions of building infrastructures and replace the parts that are beyond life expectancy, he said.
Fisher said the roofs of some buildings on campus have not been replaced since they were constructed about 30 to 40 years ago. It was during this period that the university experienced a construction boom similar to the one it is experiencing now. He said the typical roof has an estimated 15- to 20-year life expectancy.
Fisher said the construction boom has resulted in many projects for Facilities Management to work on.
“We’ve been replacing roofs on campus pretty aggressively,” he said.
Finding enough money to pay for roof repairs is difficult because of the recent budget cuts, Fisher said. The entire roof replacement process can take one or more years.
“These are ongoing roof issues and are not just during the winter time,” Gonzales said. “They’re just in our face during the winter time.”
Facilities Management now uses better quality roofs either made out of a polyvinyl chloride material called Sarnafil or out of a similar rubberized plastic product, Fisher said. The new roofs are more energy efficient because they reflect heat. The new material uses clamps and heat to seal the roof seams as opposed to the traditional method of using oil products, tar, and glue, making the new roofs environmentally friendly during installation, Fisher said.
Fisher also said Cheadle Hall has historically been a problem for Facilities Management, but the department has not received any major complaints this year since they replaced some sections of the building’s roof and drainpipes.
“We’ve conquered that problem,” he said.
Fisher said Facilities Management hopes to begin work on several projects including a roof replacement for the new Marine Sciences Building, which is estimated to cost $60,000 to $75,000.
I.V. Theater 2 also has a drain and plumbing problem in its northeastern corner, which results in a small puddle forming to the left of the podium, Gonzales said. The building will require a water vacuum to remove the puddles in the room.
Fisher said Bren Hall has been an especially tricky target for Facilities Management to repair because they have not been able to find a source of leaks. The original contractors and architects of Bren Hall have made some repairs because it is still under warranty.
Ricardo Velasco, a senior psychology major, said he thought the leaks were problematic and should be fixed.
“They’re really distracting when you’re walking down the hall or taking notes in a class and there’s water coming through the window or floor,” he said.