Water damage to Shack to cause delays in the College’s ownership

Ben Taylor

Viewpoints Editor

The recent spell of cold weather has caused the water pipes at the building that formerly housed the Shack to burst, resulting in a substantial deal of damage to the property and potentially affecting efforts by the college to acquire it.

“I haven’t seen the damage first hand,” said Dean of Students Kurt Holmes, who is one of the people closest to the situation, “but my understanding is that it was a significant amount of water.”

As the Voice reported in December of last year, the College is in the midst of attempting to purchase the property, a process that is still ongoing due to some confusion regarding the legal status of the building.

“The Shack is not yet owned by the College but we do have a pending purchase agreement, which is an agreement to move that direction,” said Holmes. “At a minimum I suspect this will delay our ability to take possession of the facility and thus delay our initial uses.”

While it may delay the process, the occurrence of the water damage will not keep the College from purchasing the property, though the building itself may now be unusable. Evaluations as to the usability of the land have yet to occur.

“This damage is obviously a serious issue, but it doesn’t change the value of the land, and, if the damage can be successfully remediated, the usefulness of the building as well,” said Holmes.

“I don’t think we even know yet what it will take for a professional to remediate the problems, or even if that is possible. That investigation is underway by the current owners.”

As of the Voice’s last report on the Shack in December, the College was not planning to demolish the building.

A number of potential uses for the space have been discussed, but without knowledge of whether it can be remediated, it is unclear how many of these options are still viable moving forward.