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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

SUNY New Paltz Damaged By Storm

NEW PALTZ — SUNY New Paltz officials don't yet know how big a bill they're facing for cleanup and repairs of storm-related damage at the college's Jacobson Faculty Tower.

The 10-story, 120-foot-high building housing offices for faculty and support staff suffered water damage on a number of floors on the north and west sides following the blizzard that hit the area Sunday.

Jacqueline DiStefano, the college's vice president for finance and administration, said the main culprit was a power outage that affected a third of the campus.

The power failure caused water-filled coils in the building's heating and cooling system to freeze up and then burst, sending water spilling into a number of offices.

DiStefano confirmed that "one or two" windows were blown open, letting snow get into some offices. But she said that was not a "primary contributing factor" to the overall damage.

The damage was discovered Monday, and for the next two days cleaning up the water, replacing damaged or displaced ceiling and floor tiles and other work was "a primary focus" of campus maintenance crews and other staff, DiStefano said. A contractor also was hired to help with the cleanup.

All the work was essentially finished and the large dryers and dehumidifiers brought in to help the drying process had been removed by noon Wednesday, DiStefano said.

While a dollar figure for the damage wasn't known as of Wednesday, DiStefano said, "The state is self-insured, so we will have to use campus resources to pay for all of this."

The building also houses seminar rooms and Jazzman's Cafe

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