Between Feb. 16 and Feb. 17, water pipes burst in the Plaster Student Union and Blair-Shannon House and Dining Hall. 

The first pipes to burst were in the PSU, according to Brad Kielhofner, director of university facilities management. 

“Multiple pipes in the first floor of the Plaster Student Union began leaking and burst on Feb. 16 just prior to midnight,” Kielhofner said. “The issue affected the fire sprinkler system, domestic water and heating system in the area of the food court.” 

According to Kielhofner, damages are still being assessed, as of Feb. 18. Subway, Burrito Bowl, Panda Express, Madison Avenue Boutique and the Game Center incurred damages. 

“We will have to repair ceilings and walls that were damaged by water. Carpets can likely be dried out, but we are still assessing damage,”  Kielhofner said. “Countertops, cabinets and furniture will also be evaluated for damage and dried, cleaned, repaired or replaced as necessary. The elevators will also require repairs.”

Kielhofner said the goal is to have the PSU open by Monday, Feb. 22. There will be limited options and hours for the unforeseen future. 

In contrast, Blair-Shannon House and Dining Hall is still open after its fire sprinkler system pipes burst, according to Kielhofner. 

“At Blair-Shannon a fire sprinkler pipe located in the main first-floor hallway between the dining center and the grand lounge froze and broke,” Kielhofner said. “The water damaged ceiling tiles, flooded the floor and dampened nearby wall areas.”

As of Feb. 18, there are no reports of damage to student belongings, according to Kielhofner. 

“We have worked to change airflow patterns in buildings to help reduce the risk that cold outside air is drawn into building areas where there are pipes that might freeze, Kielhofner said. 

Additionally, pipes should be left to drip to prevent bursting. 

To report an on-campus issue, such as leaking pipes, call 417-836-8400 or visit 


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Afton Harper has been a copy editor and reporter for The Standard since spring 2018. She also snaps pictures in her free time.