Six-foot geyser brings Lab opening to a halt

“Due to a series of very unfortunate events, the Lab will be closed until further notice,” reads a sign outside of the Lab Coffee Shop.

Photo submitted by Hannah Thiesfeldt
Photo submitted by Hannah Thiesfeldt

On the morning of Sept. 14, senior Hannah Thiesfeldt, a manager of the Lab, opened up the coffee shop to see a six foot geyser of water coming out from the espresso machine. It is not known how long the water was spraying out of the machine, but it was long enough to take out multiple ceiling tiles and some concrete above the tiles, which came crashing down.

It is also not known exactly what the problem was, but the staff knows the water line to the espresso machine somehow disconnected.

While the problem was taken care of rather quickly, there was still a lot of damage done to the ceiling, machines and the surrounding area. While the ceiling took the brunt of the damage, many of the appliances also got soaked, as well as some of the cabinets below the espresso machine.

The Lab staff and some maintenance and housekeeping staff members have been hard at work for the last couple weeks trying to get the place cleaned up as quickly as possible.

According to Thiesfeldt, students seem to be disappointed with the surprise closing of the Lab.

“[They seem] sad that they are missing the atmosphere of the Lab as well as the coffee, and the staff seems concerned, like they genuinely hope everything will work out,” said Thiesfeldt.

Despite initially believing that the Lab would be closed for another month, junior Anna Wittig, another manager for the Lab, said they are hoping to have the place cleaned up and ready to go by Wednesday, Sept. 18.

Photo submitted by Hannah Thiesfeldt
Photo submitted by Hannah Thiesfeldt

The re-opening of the Lab was pushed up because everything dried up and the maintenance crew determined that the ceiling damage is nothing to be concerned about. Now that new ceiling tiles have been installed, the Lab will be ready to open once some finishing touches have been completed.

“Given the fact that we’re all really antsy to open again, we’re pushing to have it open by next week. Fall Festival weekend has brought in a lot of business in the past, so we’re hoping to have that happen again this year,” said Wittig.

The Lab staff is calling for additional volunteers to help with the clean-up process in order to help them reach their goal of opening on Wednesday.

While Thiesfeldt believes this was just a freak accident, she mentioned the possibility of putting in new measures to ensure this does not happen again.

“Maybe we could work something out with security to check on the Lab at least once during the night after closing to make sure everything is okay,” said Thiesfeldt.

Once the Lab reopens, it will be open Sunday through Thursday 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Monday through Friday after chapel until 11 a.m.

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