Crews work to ready UK for classes after extensive damage due to storm

Posted at 11:21 PM, Jan 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-05 23:21:13-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — With just a weekend before the semester begins, crews at the University of Kentucky are working to make sure the university is able to open normally for students after last month’s winter freeze led to damage in 3 dozen buildings on campus

“Everything ranging from flooding, busted pipes and busted coils, sprinkler heads busting, flooded floors,” said university spokesperson Jay Blanton, who explained the extensive damage is the most significant on UK’s campus in at least 15 years.

The cleanup has been underway since the storm, with Servpro vehicles dotting the campus, not just working to dry things out.

At the William T. Young Library, a burst pipe on the third floor meant there was standing water on portions of three floors of the building. No books were damaged, said Servpro of Lexington co-owner Jason Phillips. They have more than 200 people on campus.

“There’s a lot of water damage which required a lot of drying and demo,” said Phillips. “We’re now in the reconstruction stage trying to get them ready for classes on Monday.”

He’s confident they will get the job done there, and in most other places on-campus, by the start of classes.

“It’ll look just the way it did before, like it never even happened,” he said of the library, which still had some students inside despite the work.

Other buildings that saw damage included Memorial Coliseum and Kroger Field. The most serious damage is in the school’s agriculture building. It’s the only academic building that won’t be back to normal Monday, with some office space moved around, Blanton said.

Multiple dormitories also had burst pipes.

Water entered three dozen or so student rooms in the Haggin Hall dormitory, Blanton said. They let the students in impacted rooms know. Five rooms are damaged severely enough that students will temporarily live elsewhere as a complete restoration is completed. The University is covering costs, including moving fees and laundry services, as well as providing gift cards.