Students in Foster-Walker report leaks after heavy rains


Colin Boyle/Daily Senior Staffer

Foster-Walker Complex located at 1927 Orrington Ave. Students have reported leaks in the building after heavy rains.

Ally Mauch, Assistant Campus Editor

Students have reported several instances of leaks in Foster-Walker Complex after heavy rains, an issue director of Residential Services Jennifer Luttig-Komrosky attributed to the building’s age.

Medill junior Lizzy Ju said she first noticed a leak in her room in Plex during Fall Quarter last year and returned this year to find that the problem had not been fixed.

“When I came back to my room there was a puddle again, and again, and again and that’s when I realized it was coming from the rain outside,” Ju said, recalling the first few times she dealt with leaks.

Ju, who is living in the same room in Plex as last year, said she experiences leaks in her room whenever there is moderate rain. She said after her books and other belongings were repeatedly “drenched,” she now avoids leaving things on the floor.

Luttig-Komrosky said she is aware of the leaks in Plex, but added that a planned renovation of the building will include work on the roof and facade.

“We have had a few reported incidences of leaks in Foster-Walker,” Luttig-Komrosky said. “Especially after the storm on the weekend of (October) 13th … Foster-Walker had more reported leaks than other residential halls.”

Luttig-Komrosky said she does not know of any leaks that have yet to be repaired, such as the one Ju described in her room.

Erica Cha, who lived in Plex last year, also said there was a leak in her room throughout the year. Cha, a Bienen and Weinberg junior, said if it weren’t for the leak, she may have lived in the building again.

Cha said while she reported the leaks, they were never fixed.

“It made me frustrated because that whole day I had to worry about if my room was leaking,” Cha said. “Sometimes I’d call the maintenance in Plex and they would be of great help, but they also didn’t know how to fix the problems.”

Ju had a similar problem with reporting leaks. She said she reported each leak to her Resident Assistant, and made multiple requests through Residential Services’ School Dude portal, but the leaks were not repaired.

Ju also sent multiple emails to Residential Services but did not get a response, she said.

“(Maintenance) would go away and then it would rain again, and there would be a puddle again. It’s the same cycle over and over,” Ju said.

Luttig-Komrosky said leaks are “notoriously” difficult to address, but Residential Services makes every effort to determine where the leak is coming from and fix it immediately.

Ju said before the planned renovation, students should be warned of possible maintenance issues. Tired of the constant leaks, she said she filed a change of room request last week.

“(Residential Services) should at least let people know before they are selecting their rooms that some of the rooms have a leaking problem,” Ju said. “The housing for Northwestern isn’t that cheap, and people want to live in a room that at least doesn’t leak.”

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Twitter: @allymauch