Lincoln Hall closes for hours; students warned of gas leak

By Brandon Scalea 

A gas leak outside of Lincoln Hall resulted in the building being closed for seven hours, according to Mike Reca, vice president of facilities and university operations.

While facilities staff members were conducting their daily rounds early on Nov. 28, they detected the odor of natural gas outside the building. The employees then entered the building where the smell still lingered.

As a precaution, Public Safety and Residence Life went room-to-room evacuating students. They were told of the situation, and given time to get dressed and retrieve whatever belongings they needed. The building was completely cleared of students by 9:30 a.m., Reca said.

Sophomore sports management major Joseph Aresta said he was in class at the time of the evacuation, but he wasn’t surprised when he heard what happened.

“I was heading back to my room to take a nap and public safety officers were outside telling me I couldn’t get back in,” he said. “I received an email around 11:30 a.m. explaining there was a gas leak. I smelled gas last night, so I really wasn’t surprised.”

After inspection, it was determined the source of the leak was in the plumbing on the outside of the building, and underground. Reca said there were no leaks inside of Lincoln. Once the leak was identified, repairs began immediately and ended just after 4 p.m.

At this time, gas service was restored and students were allowed back in.

To counter the inconvenience of students not having access to their rooms, Lincoln residents were encouraged throughout the day to utilize the Student Recreation Center showers and changing stations, as well as Moore Library for a place to study.

Reca said he was happy the situation was solved in a timely manner and that no students were harmed by the leak.

“No students reported feeling affected by exposure to the gas,” he said. “Thankfully, repairs were made quickly and there was minimal disruption to our students.”

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