Zulauf ceiling leaks cause problems for 10th floor

By Ryan Felgenhauer

The ceiling of Zulauf Hall’s 10th floor has a noticeable leak.

The problem has existed on Zulauf’s top floor for some time.

“The ceilings have been leaking since I got here,” said Scott Balcerzak, assistant professor of film and literature. “And I’ve been here two years.”

Other professors on the floor say that the problem began long before that.

“I’ve been here for five years. There have always been leaks,” said english instructor Ryan Hibbett. “Some of the older staff have said that it’s been going on for decades.”

The leaky ceilings cause problems for the staff whose offices are located on the floor.

“Aesthetically, they’re not too pleasing,” Balcerzak said.

Beyond just looking unattractive, the leaks can cause damage to unfortunately placed possessions.

“You have to be really careful with how you use your space,” Hibbett said. “You can ruin your books.”

Professors on the floor said NIU has made some efforts to keep the leaking from causing too much damage. When the leaks show up in professors’ offices, they are fixed promptly, Balcerzak said.

The staff on the 10th floor aren’t too sure what is being done for a more permanent solution, but they noted that they have seen work being done.

“I’ve seen custodians with ladders doing things,” Balcerzak said.

The maintenance for the leaky ceilings is on the docket, but is incurring problems with funding.

“NIU has over $400 million in deferred maintenance,” said Lesley Rigg, associate dean for Research & Graduate Affairs. “This means all maintenance issues are put into a queue.”

Rigg is aware of the severity of the leaking, however.

“Leaking ceilings are a serious concern for the college of liberal arts and sciences,” Rigg said. “Especially on Zulauf’s 10th floor.”

The school’s issues with government funding extend to even minor repairs. The lack of sufficient state funding means things like this are put on put on hold, Rigg said.

Rigg was unsure when their spot in the queue would be reached, but said she was sure it would be repaired eventually.

The NIU Maintenance Department did not return messages as of press time.