SCAET flood rains on gaming labs

Mac technologist Jeremy Fernie searches for signs of water damage behind the screen of an Apple desktop that bore the brunt of a flood last week.

Mac technologist
Jeremy Fernie searches for signs of water damage behind the screen of an Apple desktop that bore the brunt of a flood last week.


Game design students were back in class Monday after a flood in the SCAET building soaked high-end electronics in several rooms and displaced the programs that use them as a home-base.

“It was annoying,” said 19-year-old Spencer Harrill, a first year Bachelor of Game Design student.

“My classes were all crammed into the one other room BAA students use and went way later in the day than usual.”

The flood, which damaged rooms S141/142, was discovered by custodial staff last Wednesday night at around 8 p.m. It is believed that the flood was caused by a broken radiator heating coil located between the double doors at the main entrance of SCAET.

“I don’t know why the heating coil broke – it’s still under investigation,” said Chris Nanos, Sheridan’s facility manager the morning after the flood. “It may have been the cold – it can wreak havoc on facilities.”

Nanos said that the after the heating coil broke, “a significant amount of water” began pooling in the front foyer and worked its way through the floor to the labs below.

Some took the disruption in stride. “It was a nice sprinkler,” said Sheridan Mac Technologist Mike Assadourian about the water spraying from the ceiling of S142. Assadourian, who maintains the gaming labs, rushed back to campus Wednesday night, staying until 1 a.m. in an effort to protect the electronics.

Fortunately, students had already taken the lead.

Mac technologist Jeremy Fernie said several still-unidentified students working late on Wednesday night discovered the leak coming through the concrete ceiling and acted quickly.

“These machines were bagged before we even got a phone call about it,” said Fernie, pointing to the Apple desktops at the front of S142. “Students were here [working] and out of their own goodwill ran out to grab [garbage] bags.”

As a home-base, “Students develop an attachment to their machine – all their files are on it – they think of it like their own. They covered them with garbage bags when the water started pouring in,” he said.

For now, all 52 machines in both S141 and 142 are in working order, having survived a 24-hour stress-test that techs ran over the weekend. But it may not last. The equipment that bore the brunt of the flood shows signs that water leaked into the computer’s sensitive circuitry.

“The issue with water and electronics is not that they will fry,” said Assadourian. “The issue is that it will rust and corrode – in six months [the system] may become unstable.”

Sheridan’s insurance policy will not cover the damage caused to the computer labs due to the $50,000 deductible on the policy, said Assadourian. Luckily, as of Monday morning, only one Apple desktop screen shows sign of water damage and one student hard-drive may have been compromised – though it is uncertain if the flood was the cause. Because the Apple desktops in S142 are approaching the end of their three-year lease, they are due for replacement next year.

Among the casualties are a $3,000 Canon projector, which was like an “umbrella” beneath the stream of water, and several desks which were warped by the water.