Water damage to temporarily close JBD lecture hall

By Zac Farber

The campus center lecture hall will be closed starting Monday while water damage caused by fall rains and spring snowmelt is fixed. The John B. Davis Lecture Hall will reopen Feb. 5, according to the Nov. 16 Bulletin.When water melts, it is absorbed into the ground-the highest part of the ground that is saturated with water is called the water table. The water table rises and falls with the seasons.

Mark Dickinson, director of facilities management, has struggled with the harmful effects that a high water table has had on the campus center since it opened in January 2001, he said.

“The water table gets high and the floor of the lecture hall is right at the water table,” he said.

The lecture hall’s graduated seating and slope toward the stage means that the stage is the lowest point in the campus
center.

The concrete slab supporting the stage is about two feet below the rest of the campus center floor, Dickinson said.

When the water table rose, he said, water leaked in through small cracks and damaged the floor.

Facilities management is closing the lecture hall at a time of year when it is typically used less than during other parts of the year, Dickinson said.

The repairs will not cost Macalester anything because they are under warranty from the contractor and the architect, he said.