For the past five years, Southern Utah University officials have been aiming to replace an aging three-wing dormitory, citing "significant safety issues."
Now they are shutting down Juniper Hall in mid-semester, displacing 227 mostly freshman students, after its decrepit hot-water system lost pressure last week because of pipe ruptures. There’s little hope for a permanent fix, because the pipes are not only compromised, but inaccessibly encased in concrete under the floors.
Officials were scrambling Monday to find alternate housing for Juniper Hall residents, who have until next Sunday to clear out.
After the pressure drop last week, crews jack-hammered open a floor, cut the ruptured pipe, then capped it.