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The Orion

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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Spill displaces student X-ray services


The Student Health Center is outsourcing X-ray scans to a local imaging company after water from a broken toilet valve flooded many rooms in the building.

Facilities Management and Services custodians noticed damp carpets surrounding the unisex bathroom near the X-ray room around 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11, said Joe Wills, director of public affairs and publications for Chico State.

The custodial crew stopped the leak from the valve and worked through the night to assess the damage. Fans and humidifiers were placed in rooms affected by the spill.

Drywall that divides the health records and X-ray rooms were damaged, Wills said.

Custodians tore out damaged carpets Nov. 12 and took down wall-mounted shelving where paper records and office supplies were stored, said Jill Cannaday, a nursing supervisor.

None of the health records were destroyed by the flood, Cannaday said. Office space is tight at the center, so figuring out where to store records and supplies has been a challenge.

A floor pit that houses electrical boxes in the X-ray room was filled with water when it was opened up, but the boxes were above the water line, Cannaday said.

The staff at the Student Health Center is unsure if the X-ray machines were dampened, Cannaday said. An electrical expert advised them to leave the machines off until the damage is assessed.

“I’ve had some IT people say that you could actually chuck a computer in a pool and dry it off and it would still work,” Cannaday said. “I don’t know that you can do that with an X-ray machine.”

Even if the machines are undamaged, the walls inside the X-ray room are reinforced with special materials that may need repair, Wills said.

Until the walls are repaired, the center will not be conducting X-rays in-house, Cannaday said. During the repair period, students will be transferred to North State Imaging for X-rays.

“It is an inconvenience, and we feel bad about that,” Cannaday said.

If a patient doesn’t have the means travel to the alternative location, the center plans to provide transportation.

X-ray scan costs are normally covered by student fees, Cannaday said. Students are advised to use their own health insurance, if they have any, to pay for it.

“If they don’t, we’ll pick up the bill,” Cannaday said.

The amount of water damage was enough to bring in Belfor, a property restoration firm, for repairs, Wills said.

Contractors are continuing to dry the damaged areas out, move furniture and materials, tear out walls and pull carpets, Wills said. Repairs are expected to begin Monday.

The cost of the renovations is still being determined, Wills said.

In the worst case scenario, repairs could take up to 30 days, Cannaday said.

“The biggest difficulty will be for students,” she said.


Mozes Zarate can be reached at [email protected] or @mzarate139 on Twitter

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