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Many buildings on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus were affected by the severe weather that impacted the region June 12, including a number of incidences of flooding as shown below. Because of the University’s proactive planning and immediate response, we have been able to quickly respond and begin recovery efforts by activating our Continuation of Operations Plan. I would like to thank the facilities management team, particularly the leadership of Steve Arndt, director of facilities management, and Jim Johnson, risk management, for their hard work over the last week.

The following facilities were significantly affected by the severe weather June 12:

Clow Classroom Building
Kolf Sports Center
Nursing/Education Building
Radford Hall
River Center
Swart Hall
Taylor Hall

Of this group, River Center received the worst damages. The entire basement level was flooded to a depth of nearly nine feet. Transformers, mechanical equipment and virtually all the contents of the building were damaged beyond repair, including 10 vehicles that were totally submerged. The basements of the other facilities in this group were flooded to a depth of approximately two to three inches.

Other buildings received some damage but more limited in scope, including:

Albee Hall
Arts and Communication Building
Center for Equity and Diversity
Clemans Hall
Dempsey Hall
Donner Hall
Halsey Science Complex
Oviatt House
Polk Library
Reeve Union
Webster Hall

All buildings currently have electrical power with the exception of River Center, where electrical distribution equipment was destroyed. The flooding occurred during the week of the University’s annual steam shutdown for maintenance of the campus boiler system. Steam was restored to campus late Saturday afternoon after all of the steam pits and steam tunnels were pumped clear of storm water.

Efforts are currently underway to dry out water-damaged carpeting and flooring throughout campus. UW Oshkosh staff are working closely with Paul Davis Restoration and ServePro to assist in the evaluation of damages, cleaning and testing of surfaces, dehumidification and drying of floors. Meanwhile, industrial hygienists are checking for contamination and other health concerns.

We are in the process of determining which carpets can be salvaged and which require replacement. We will be replacing water-damaged carpets with vinyl sheets or floor tile where practical.

The clean-up and restoration of River Center will take the most time and the facility may not be ready for occupancy for several months. In excess of five million gallons of water was pumped from the basement of River Center over the weekend. Ten service vehicles were completely submerged and are presumed to be totaled. Current efforts include the removal of water-damaged vehicles from the loading dock and a clean-up of that area in order to accommodate the removal of water-damaged building contents. An architectural firm will be hired to assess the damages and develop plans to rehabilitate the space.

Again, I thank the stellar efforts of the facilities management and residence life teams for their hard work to mitigate the effects of this situation. I’d also like to thank faculty, staff and University Police for their assistance in getting us back to normal operations.

If you have any questions regarding flood conditions and/or insurance claims relating to University property, contact me at 424-3030, Steve Arndt at 424-3466 or Jim Johnson at 424-1191.

Vice-Chancellor Tom Sonnleitner
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh