Waterline rupture floods Commons, limits dining on campus


Photo by Jocelyn Nunez-Colon

ServPro workers clean up water after a “significant” amount of water flooded the lower level of the Commons building on Thursday morning.

Dining options on campus will be limited in days to come due to flooding in Commons Dining Hall and Johnny’s. 

According to Marvale Jones, Dining Services marketing manager, a waterline at Commons Dining Hall ruptured due to water softener troubles, flooding the entire dining hall as well as both the dining area and storefront of Johnny’s.

“This morning a Dining Services staff member discovered that the water softener had ruptured and was gushing water,” Scott Van Deraa, director of hospitality operations, told Chimes in an email. “It is unknown when the critical failure occurred but the amount of water in the Commons Dining Hall, Johnny’s, and the seating area in the lower level of the Commons was significant.” 

After noticing the flooding, the dining services staff member notified both campus safety and facilities. To clean up the water and the resulting water damage, National Management Resources Corporation brought in all available on-campus workers as well as Servpro Restoration Services.

Broken ceiling tiles lie in the floodwater covering the floor of the Johnny’s seating area. (Photo by Jocelyn Nunez-Colon)

Despite the fact that a large portion of the damage was repaired this morning, work will continue in the coming days to guarantee that there are safe and accessible dining options.

To provide lunch and dinner to all students today, the Dining Services team shifted all production to Knollcrest Dining Hall. Because the demand for seats exceeded capacity, take-out containers were offered. As flooding issues were resolved and the area was cleared for occupancy for the specific area, students also had the option to eat at Uppercrust for lunch and dinner. 

Lunch for tomorrow will be served solely in Knollcrest Dining Hall due to ongoing cleaning as well as to address planning needs for Dining Services, according to Van Deraa. Uppercrust will be open for regular hours tomorrow, and the Johnny’s Team is hoping that Johnny’s will return for regular hours tomorrow.

A waterline burst above the seating area in Johnny’s. Officials expect repairs to take days. (Photo by Jocelyn Nunez-Colon)

According to Jones, Commons Dining Hall will be closed today and tomorrow due to extensive water damage in the dining spaces and kitchens.

“We thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we navigate these flooding issues,” said Jones.

Dining Services will keep students up to speed on dining availability via Student News, Calvin news and @calvindiningservices on Instagram.

This is a developing story. Chimes will provide updates as more information becomes available.