A renovation sign outside the UC JCR. Sandy Ma/THE VARSITY

Students that hoped to make themselves comfortable in the University College Junior Common Room (JCR) over reading week were left shut out when a flood caused the room to close after a water pipe in the building burst; it did not reopen until February 25.

The JCR is a popular lounge and study space among students, especially those from University College. The space houses the office of the University College Literary and Athletic Society (UC Lit) and Diabolos, UC Lit’s student-run coffee shop, both of which were forced to close.

“We believe that the pipe burst due to the extreme cold,” said Melinda Scott, dean of students for University College. Over Family Day weekend, the City of Toronto issued an extreme cold alert as temperatures plummeted to below –20° Celsius.

In terms of repair, contractors worked to remove the damaged hardwood flooring and clean the concrete underneath. The floor of the JCR will remain exposed concrete until it can be replaced.

This is not the first time that ruptured pipes have caused a flood at U of T. Last year, Woodworth College residence flooded due to a burst pipe. In November 2014, Sidney Smith Hall flooded as a result of a water main break.

According to U of T’s annual deferred maintenance report that was released last month, the University College building currently has $6.9 million in deferred maintenance costs. The building was given a Facilities Condition Index score of 11.9 per cent; a score above 10 per cent indicates that a building is in poor condition.

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