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Dorm flood forces students out

Eighteen students had to be evacuated from their suites in the Vista La Verne dorm the first week of classes following a slow hot water heater leak that caused drywall to crumble and floors to buckle, as well as damaging students’ personal items.

Robert Beebe, director of physical plant operations and service, said he could not give a monetary estimate of the damage.

All 18 students had to move out temporarily, some to other dorm rooms on campus and others to the Sheraton Suites Fairplex hotel more than two miles away in Pomona.

The leak started above the fourth floor causing water damage to rooms below from fourth floor suites to the Campus Bookstore on the ground floor.

“I’m happy they were able to accommodate us right when it happened but it sucks that it happened to such a new building,” said Arely Ortega, senior criminology major and a resident at Vista La Verne whose room was damaged.

Drywall was removed from damaged rooms, and water restoration crews were brought in to address possible mold.

“Now the contractors are coming back (to) start reinstalling the drywall, patch paint and get residents back online,” Beebe said.

Residents who were evacuated were assured they would be back in their rooms by Feb. 22, just over two weeks since they were forced to move out.

The flood will not cost the University, Beebe said, because the new building is under warranty with the piping contractor.

Residents will be reimbursed for their damaged personal items.

The University of La Verne is moving swiftly to get residents back into their suites and have tried to help the displaced residents until the problem is resolved, students and officials involved said.

 —Monique Parra

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