Birnkrant Residential College faced with water damages

Birnkrant Residential College at USC
Daniel Stone, a freshman majoring in business administration, said Birnkrant bathrooms are old and the pipes structurally unsound, resulting in frequent maintenance issues. He also said maintenance often ignores flooding issues. (Drake Lee | Daily Trojan)

Everybody’s Kitchen closed for emergency repairs Monday afternoon after a clogged drain pipe halted kitchen operations. While the closing coincided with flooding at Birnkrant Residential College, the events were unrelated, according to a statement issued by Eric Johnson —  executive director of Facilities, Operations, and Maintenance — to the Daily Trojan Monday.

Johnson wrote in the statement that the dining hall’s kitchen would undergo repairs lasting several days. Students should seek out alternative dining options during the closure, Johnson wrote.

Other water damages were reported in the neighboring Birnkrant Residential College. Bathrooms frequently flooded throughout the year, but a leakage in a shower head Sunday night caused water to seep through the bathroom floor into adjacent dorm rooms while water spilled from the Birnkrant lobby ceiling.

Ethan Castillo, a freshman majoring in design, said the water flowed through the floor into the wall and carpet of his dorm a day after the flooding. Daniel Stone, Castillo’s roommate and a freshman majoring in business administration, said maintenance staff put a fan in the room to absorb the liquid and told the students to evacuate.

“Maintenance tried blaming me and my roommate for not reporting it sooner, but it literally had nothing to do with our room,” Stone said. “They’re also providing us with no accommodations for these next two days that we’re supposed to let this machine run in our room.”’

Stone and Castillo said maintenance has largely ignored the bathroom flooding over the past few days.

“There has been a pool of water in the center of the bathroom [all weekend],” Castillo said. “We didn’t know what was happening and no one told us to do anything.”

Stone said the Birnkrant bathrooms are old and the pipes are structurally unsound, resulting in frequent water issues.

“There’s not necessarily ever been renovations done with them to make them look better and more structurally sound, such as the pipes,” Stone said.

Water was shut off for emergency repairs April 6, according to a statement from the New North Customer Service Center. Bathroom fixtures, such as soap dispensers, have been broken for months, and Castillo said he frequently sees students from other floors using the eighth-floor washing machine because other machines are out of order.

“It’s frustrating to see, especially because I’m paying so much money to live here,” Stone said. “Rather than the issue being addressed properly, USC wants to do the bare minimum to get out of it.”