Water leaked into the uppermost floors of Healey Library after the high winds of Sandy "lifted the roof and as a result broke the drainage system in the northern section of the roof,” reported Holly Sutherland, director of Master Plan and Construction Communications,
The university, with the assistance of the Division of Capital Assets and Management and Maintenance, hired contractors to make emergency repairs before the nor’easter hit the following week. Some classes and offices had to be temporarily relocated and buckets were still in use, but “the storm did not do any more significant water damage," Sutherland said.
Emergency Management Director Anne Marie McLaughlin is working to develop ways to manage future problems from extreme weather or other catastrophes.
"We are in the process of expanding continuity planning on our campus to the academic department level," McLaughlin said. "We are using an online tool called ‘UMass Boston Ready’ developed specifically for colleges and universities [which is] used at Harvard, Tufts, as well as at UMass Lowell and Dartmouth locally, and at many other universities across the country and in Canada." The program follows a design used at University of California Berkeley.
Emergency Management has been meeting with academic departments to determine how to best use the online program. The biology and chemistry departments have developed pilot plans.
"Our next steps will be to enlarge the discussion to include a focus on instructional continuity," McLaughlin said, "as well as reach out to other departments, through the Provost’s Office."
Although the university has applied for aid from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, which may elect to seek federal assistance, it is unclear if the university will receive any funds from the emergency agencies.
Meanwhile, walls have been repaired, and the damaged carpets are being cleaned and dried. Workers are also readying the roof for winter. A third permanent roof is in the design phase. According to Sutherland, the installment of this roof "will be a big project that we are hoping to get started next year."