Of Sewage and Ceilings

Renovated Dorm Beset by Maintenance Trouble

For a moment last week, Michelle N. Lipkowitz '97 felt like Chicken Little.

The Greenough resident's sky was falling--in the form of ceiling paint which landed on her head.

Lipkowitz is one of many students in Greenough who say they are already experiencing numerous maintenance problems in their newly-renovated dormitory.

In addition to the perplexing paint, residents have been plagued over the past three weeks by a septic system backup and a family of insects dwelling in a smoke alarm.

"I'm learning to cope with Harvard," Matthew Mayers '97 said.


Lipkowitz said she noticed fault lines in a corner of her ceiling, which was repainted during the summer renovations. The paint then began cracking and falling from the ceiling in chunks. Since this first sighting two weeks ago, more cracks have appeared along one wall and a third fault line is devloping over her bed.

James C. Morton `97 is also experiencing a similar, though less severe, problem on his wall.

"It was already peeling when I got here," Morton said. "I wrote it down [on the condition of suite form]."

Lipkowitz said she immediately reported the problem to Greenough North proctor Matthew J. Eichner `87. Eichner informed Yard Superintendent Marla King, who said yesterday that she is trying to arrange for a painter to fix theceiling "shortly."

Old Ceilings

Project Manager Jeffrey J. Cushman saidyesterday that the contractor of the Yard dormrenovation project, who is responsible forcorrecting defective work, would probably fix theceiling during Christmas break.

"Some of the ceilings are really old," Cushmansaid. "We had a lot of trouble treating them andrepainting."

Sewage in the Laundry Room

But peeling paint is not the only problemGreenough residents have experienced during theirfirst three weeks on campus.

The same day Lipkowitz reported the conditionof her ceiling, Ami N. Wynne '97 was doing herlaundry when she heard "water gushing," andnoticed the floor was flooded.

"There was water everywhere, but not normalwater--there were mud clumps," Wynne said. "Waterand sewage were spewing out of the back of thewasher onto the floor and the draining sink wasoverflowing."