Flood-displaced Gillette residents expect to return to dormitory by end of week – The Vanderbilt Hustler
Eight days after the flood, workers are replacing baseboards and ceiling tiles to repair water damage to get students back to their dorms.
Forty-four freshmen were sent to the Hayes Street Hotel late on September 14 after Gillette House took a harsh flooded due to the activation of the fire sprinkler system. Some are still moved to the hotel more than a week later.
At 11:02 a.m. CDT on September 21, some Gillette residents received a E-mail stating that they should expect to stay at the Hayes Street Hotel until September 26. These students received $25 in Commodore Cash each weekday to buy dinner at GrubHub and $40 for weekend meals. At 5:23 p.m. CDT on September 17, Gillette residents received another E-mail indicating that the shuttle service initially in place to bring students to their classes would not be available on the weekend of September 18. Instead, students could complete a “Ridehail Waiver” to receive two fully-funded Lyft codes to travel to and from campus throughout the weekend.
“I haven’t met anyone who’s used the Lyft,” said first-year Gillette resident Ben Hawley. “What they needed was to have [Vandy] The van service is going to be set up so we can get to the football game and all that.
Josh Uterstaedt, a first-year Gillette resident, said the Hayes Street Hotel provided breakfast so he didn’t have to use the extra Commodore Cash. He said the quality of the hotel made up for the inconvenience of being moved off-campus.
“Hotels are pretty cool: my roommate and I each have our own bigger bed,” Uterstaudt said.
The extent of the damage in the dorms varies from floor to floor at Gillette.
“We were lucky,” said Uterstaedt. “The only things that got wet were a rug and a few random things on the floor, but the room is still a mess because things got moved around. [so the workers could] access baseboards.
The Office of Housing and Residential Experience (OHARE) addressed student concerns about the remediation process in a E-mail sent to residents at 5:23 p.m. CDT on September 17. The email states that OHARE, Vanderbilt Facilities, Vanderbilt University Public Safety (VUPS) and ServPro—a fire cleanup and restoration company—are teaming up to fix Gillette House.
“WWe understand that the noise from the equipment used during the process can be disturbing for some residents; however, it is important that equipment continues to operate in order to dry construction materials in a timely manner,” the email reads. “Please do not unplug or tamper with any equipment.”
There are fans on every floor of Gillette to filter moist air and speed up the drying process. Gillette baseboards are currently being removed from the walls in the hallways and inside the dorms.
“They came in a few days ago and tore up a lot of floor pads,” said freshman and Gillette resident Owen Smith. “When you walk down the hall you see empty rooms they are airing out, which is really weird.”
Despite Vanderbilt’s best efforts to accommodate the students, many spoke to The Hustler about their stress over replacing their belongings and the uncertainty surrounding their living situation.
“They let you know at noon whether or not you were going to stay the night and it was super stressful because you were nervous about not being able to get your things back to your hotel room. Almost every other day you have to go downstairs and activate your hotel room key,” Hawley said. “Vandy’s distance and disorganization made it frustrating.”
At 6:38 p.m. on September 20, Gillette residents received another email detailing the procedure for filing insurance claims for items that were destroyed by flooding. If students do not have home, renter or traveler insurance, they have been advised to contact OHARE by October 4 at 5 p.m. CDT.
“Depending on the specific circumstances of that incident, any claims for damaged property will need to be made through your insurance company, which may include your own tenant’s insurance, a guardian’s landlord’s or tenant’s insurance or, in the case of international students, travel insurance. “, we read in the e-mail.
According to the email, the university is also offering a temporary laptop payment option for students whose computers have been damaged by water. The email also states that Vanderbilt is working to help international students whose passport and/or government documents may need to be replaced.