Cleveland Hall Floods due to Leaky Roofs

Cleveland Hall experienced a leak that transpired into flooding over Spring Break.

During the week of March 7 through 11, Cleveland, Miss., and surrounding areas sustained heavy flooding that resulted in evacuations, flooded streets, and water damage to homes and vehicles.

Some students were stuck in Cleveland and could not travel due to the hazardous weather, but some were fortunate to leave the area before the storm began.

The oldest residence hall on Delta State’s campus, Cleveland Hall, suffered from the severe storms. Cleveland Hall is a three story styled suite with a lobby on the first floor. Compared to the newer dorms, it has no elevators, just stairs.

Dorm rooms were soaked with water including the closets, bathrooms, and hallways. Garbage cans filled the middle of hallways to catch excess rain.

Roxanne Rich, Hall Director of Cleveland Hall, said the leak started on the third floor, but luckily, it started in a vacant room where no one was staying. Rich said during Spring Break, she checked the dorms to see if everything was going smoothly until she heard the sound of rain. She noticed that the floors were soaked and tiles were falling from the ceiling. After seeing this, she reported to Housing that there was a leak. Since the leak, Rich said maintenance men have vacuumed carpets.

Rich also said the air conditioning cannot be turned on because there is still moisture in the vents and possibly mildew.

When the students came back after the break, their belongings were drenched with water.

“We were gone over Spring Break, and when I got back that Sunday, I opened up my closet and my clothes were soaked and I live on the first floor,” said Mackenzie McCord, another resident of Cleveland Hall.

“So pretty much from Thursday until Sunday my clothes were just sitting in a dark, damp closet,” McCord said. She said she washed all of her clothes and hasn’t used her closet since.

“They say the leak was repaired upstairs, but what I started to notice was the inside of my closet was supposed to be white and my ceiling started to turn a kind of weird color I never noticed before,” said McCord.

She said she noticed brown lines were on the sides of her closet and she reported this to her Resident Assistant (RA).

McCord decided to purchase Damprid, a moisture and mold control, and placed it at the bottom of her closet. “I set it in there thinking somebody was going to come and fix my closet or at least put something around the edges to keep it from leaking or anything, and because my closet was damp still, they came in just the other day, and spray painted the top of my closet white,” she said.

To her knowledge, nothing besides spray paint has been done to her closet which is of concern to her. “My closet isn’t damp anymore, but I’m worried that if it does rain really bad like it did over Spring Break that something might happen or that there is still mold in there and it’s just not actively growing right now,” said McCord.

McCord said other residents’ textbooks, printers, and other items were ruined.

“My shoes had a swimming pool..,” said Daisy Camarillo, second floor resident of Cleveland Hall. “They decided to go swimming, and I didn’t have time to give them a bathing suit.” She added that her shoes had a mildew smell to them.

“I came back and it was like stinky water everywhere,” Camarillo chuckled. She said her closet floor was wet as well as her tennis shoes. “As a result of the water damage, mold grew in my bathroom a bit, but after it rained, because of the humidity and the hotness, it just got really bad in my bathroom,” she said.

“I know I didn’t get the worst of it,” Camarillo said.

Third floor resident, Mikayla Brynn Bertrand, was the only person who had to move out of her room due to an allergic reaction to mold. Bertrand said the room directly next to hers, her suitemate, was a victim of the flooding which caused mold.

“This is what caused me to move out of my room and into another room because I am highly allergic to mold,” Bertrand said. The room that Bertrand moved into, now has mold in its closet.

“The room I’m in right now is directly across from the RA’s room, and it’s the same closet on the same side that the RA had problems with too,” she said.

Betrand said she hopes she doesn’t have to move again, but she doesn’t know at this point. “This is ridiculous,” she said. “If they can’t take care of their students, then what are we paying them for?” she inquired.

Although many students got the bad end of the stick, some students did not get an inch of water.

Symmbol Sanderlin is one of those residents. She lived on the third flood, but fortunately, none of her belongings were damaged, but her suitemates’ clothes were ruined. She said there was no rain in her room at all.

Greg Korb, Director of Facilities Management, said that Cleveland Hall has had several roof leaks that have been spot repaired over the years and months.

“With age, repairs they just what they are, temporary repairs,” Korb said. “We try to get to them as soon as we know so that a roofing contractor can get to them for us to make repairs.”

“We currently have a project through the Bureau of Buildings that is a roofing project for many buildings that need attention now,” he continued. “As soon as this project is funded through the State Bond Bill we will be able to put a new roof on the building.”

Korb said that as far as mold in the building it is more of mildew that happens when water like this appears.

“The Facilities custodian crews take care of this as soon as it is reported so that it can be cleaned up,” Korb said. “It is important that it be reported to the RA or Hall director as soon as a student notices it so that we can take care of the issue.”

He also said that they constantly have repairs made by their staff and roofing contractors to stop the leaks, but the ultimate solution is a new roof being placed on the building.

“This is planned as I stated in a near project,” he continued on. “Currently Delta State has over 1,000,000 square feet of roof space on campus to maintain. The average life of a new roof is about 20 year.”

At this moment, Korb said they have a roofing contractor on campus making repairs and patches to try and stop the leaks, but the heavy rain has slowed him down in getting them made.

According to the budget on DSU website, Cleveland Hall has the lowest compared to other residence halls, but this doesn’t affect work that has to be done.

“This is not a determining factor for repairs,” said Korb. “Facilities treats all repairs as equal as they come in as work orders.”

“We do have plans to start working on all the windows to repair so they are returned to their original condition, This project will hopefully be done this summer,” he said. “Major overhauls and renovations must come through Bureau Bond bills from the state .

Korb said that Delta State and Facilities Management do their best to maintain the buildings and property on a daily basis. “We have over 1.7 million sf of building space and 300 plus acres to maintain,” he said.  “We look to see some more improvements on dorm space in the year to come.”

If anyone has a problem or is in need of repairs, report the issue to an RA, HD, or Housing, or Facilities Management.

DSU’s website lists the prices, per semester, a student has to pay in order to stay in each residence hall. Cleveland Hall, with a roommate, is $1,975, but a private room is $2, 962.50. This is the lowest compared to the other two women’s residence halls which range from $2,000 to $3,000.  

In light of Cleveland Hall being repaired, President William LaForge mentioned the building of an on-campus President’s home being built which could be a half-million dollar project alone, according to a Faculty Senate meeting that took place on March 17.