Water leak floods areas of JCTC campus in Carrollton

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By Phyllis McLaughlin

A water leak discovered Monday morning at the Jefferson Community and Technical College Carrollton Campus on Main Street caused a few headaches but no apparent major damage to the three-story building at the corner of Fourth and Main streets.

Campus Director Susan Carlisle said Monday afternoon that the damage was limited to the first and second floors toward the rear of the building. The leak was discovered in a water line to a drinking fountain on the second floor. The leak apparently started after the school closed for the weekend Friday afternoon and went unchecked through the weekend, she said.

Water had drenched the elevator car and collected in the bottom of the elevator shaft. Ceiling tiles were turned to a grainy mush that covered equipment, desks, chairs and carpeting in the computer lab and an adjacent office occupied by student activities director Heather Yocum.

Carlisle said the Family Scholar Room on the first floor also was damaged, but the Rev. Chris White of the First Baptist Church across from the campus was offering space there to continue the program. He also opened the restrooms in the church building to those helping with cleanup at the campus, she said.

Damage estimates were unknown by press time, but Carlisle said the situation could have been much worse. She praised members of the Carrollton Fire Department, who arrived on scene early Monday morning and stayed through the afternoon to help staff from the Carrollton and Louisville campuses remove damaged carpeting, furniture and equipment, and brought industrial fans to help dry everything out.

“They have just been fantastic,” she said, adding that the camaraderie and assistance they have received is one of the best aspects of small-town life. “Everyone worked very cohesively as a team.”

Dennis Goff, president of the Carrollton College Foundation, which owns the building and leases it to JCTC, said Monday he expected insurance adjusters to inspect the site early in the week for a damage estimate.

Carlisle said the situation has put a crimp in the “Welcome Week” activities at the campus, but said the special activities planned through the week will all go on as scheduled.

Classes started Aug. 19 and will continue uninterrupted, Carlisle said. Information posted in the lobby directs students to classrooms that have been reassigned until the damaged areas are repaired.