Rhodes Tower and library flooded; Damage still being evaluated

Over winter break, Rhodes Tower and the Michael Schwartz Library flooded after pipes erupted in the building, flooding the first four floors. Clean-up and repairs caused by water damage are largely complete, according to the university. 

The extent of the water damage to library collections is still being evaluated. The university told The Cauldron that the valuable parts of Special Collections are safe. However, some parts did get damaged. 

“The most critical and valuable parts of our Special Collections are safe,” Cleveland State said in a statement. “Although some materials and books were lost, we were able to dry out a number of the items that were damaged.”

Cleveland State also told The Cauldron that library staff is working to save photos, music scores, and other material housed in Special Collections. An expert in book remediation will be contracted out by the university to come in and clean the books.

“Overall, we were very fortunate. The leaks were discovered early thanks to alarms in the building, and our maintenance and repair crews and library staff responded quickly and worked long hours to clean up the building and limit the damage,” Cleveland State said in a statement. “We are currently working with our insurance provider to file a claim to help cover the costs of repairs and the cleaning or replacement of books.”

The university blamed the leak on the arctic cold spell that the Cleveland region faced, which also affected many other businesses and organizations.