Work continues on Johnson Hall after massive flooding incident

On Feb. 15, Johnson Hall experienced flooding that displaced students from their dorms. (Connor Stewart)

Connor Stewart

Work crews continue to repair water damage at Johnson Hall after massive flooding displaced 79 students last month.

On Feb. 15, water gushed into the halls as alarms blared across the dorm building. Video taken by a resident shows water flowing down a stairwell.  

Students arose from their rooms to make their way outside. Building staff followed safety protocols and directed students to the exits and assessed the situation.  

Kim Ramos, a Johnson Hall resident, recounted her reaction to reentering the building. 

“We heard that the fourth floor completely flooded, and we were just like ‘what happened?’” Ramos said. 

Ramos said that her dorm room remained unharmed, while others were not as lucky. 

Six student dorm rooms were damaged by the flooding. Due to the water damage, Residential Life moved  many students to other rooms in Johnson Hall and Oak Street Hall.  

“If possible, residents were moved within or close to their original community,“ said Kristen Temple, director of resident life. “Exceptions to this were mostly to keep roommate and suitemates together if requested or to maintain a student in their current room type.” 

Ramos was fortunate to have to do little or no moving. 

“I had to move across the hall, which isn’t that far but it’s pretty decent when they have to tear down walls and do a bunch of construction,” Ramos said. “At least I had a stable room.” 

Ramos said her schedule needed to be changed as a result of the incident as she worked through the stress of the situation. 

“It was a really stressful week having to internalize everything that just happened,” she said. “I cried for the first two nights. Eventually I got back on my feet.” 

Work crews quickly began their repairs on the damaged areas of the building. 

“The work consists of removal of wet materials, eliminating any mold that might present itself, and reconstructing any parts of the building that were removed for being wet,” said Greg Silkman, assistant director of planning, design and construction. 

Disposal of wet materials on the fourth floor and first floor is complete. UMKC expects to complete the clearing of wet materials on the other floors within the next week. Silkman said that crews will be working a few extra hours each day this week to complete the removal process by March 26. 

Reconstruction will begin on April 1 and expected to be completed by July 31, 2021. 

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