Source of leaks in Shatner building disputed, costs still unknown

What a McGill official described as a fluke accident in the Shatner building over the winter break has resulted in damages to several rooms in the Shatner building. The costs of the damages are as yet unknown. Rooms damaged include the SSMU ballroom, cafeteria, student lounge, the Muslim Student Association’s (MSA) prayer space, and The Daily/Le Délit office.

According to Luc Roy, McGill’s director of Building Operations, a buildup of water around the pipes on the third floor caused the leak. Roy said the leak was not caused by changes made to the building’s heating system over the winter break.

Both SSMU’s General Manager Pauline Gervais, and SSMU Security Supervisor Wallace Sealy disputed this, saying that the heat had in fact been lowered over break, and that this was likely the cause of the pipe bursts. Sealy added that he had to wear a hat and coat during a visit to the building over winter break.
The leaks became apparent the night of January 4, as cleaning staff discovered water spewing into the SSMU ballroom from a burst pipe in the southeast corner of the room, as well as from a pipe in La Prep on the first floor.

The damage led the MSA to host its prayer services in a different room of the Shatner basement while repairs are made to their prayer space. The student lounge on the ground floor was also damaged, and cleaning crews have been working there and in the prayer space all week. Gervais said that repairs are expected to be completed today.

Because McGill owns the Shatner building and leases it to SSMU, the University will pay the full cost of the cleaning and repairs. Gervais said that damage to the floors in the ballroom would require them to be replaced, most likely over Reading Week.