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Moreno Valley College Herald

Moreno Valley College Herald

Science and Technology building closed due to water leak, iMAKE Innovation Center sustains damage

Signs on the door at the entrance to the iMAKE Innovation Center

Water leakage in the Science and Technology building shut down the iMAKE Innovation Center affecting day-to-day operations for faculty and students.   

The Science and Technology building, one of four buildings that were part of the original campus that opened in 1991 has been closed since Tuesday. On Monday evening an emergency shower located on the second floor in a chemistry lab was unknowingly activated, causing water to run for over 30 minutes before it began seeping through the flooring and was discovered by Joseph Murray and Gerardo Serrano, Laboratory Technician and Learning Center Assistant.

 “The room was located on the far southeast of the building and managed to get to the front half of the building,” said Donnell Layne, Director of the STEM Innovation Center & Makerspace. The water was eventually stopped but managed to flood the back half of the Makerspace center. 

Damaged equipment in the Makerspace Center

“We anticipate a lot of water damage from what we’ve seen, my office space was completely destroyed,” Layne said.

According to MVC President Dr. Robin Steinback, at this time it is still too early to determine the cost of damages to the building and equipment. Unfortunately, equipment and machines valued from $5,000 – $80,000 have likely incurred some type of damage by the flooding. However, Dr. Steinback assured that the cost of repairs would be covered through insurance provided by the district. 

As a result of the accident, classes in the Science and Technology building were canceled Tuesday while companies brought in by Moreno Valley College and the Riverside Community College District assessed the damage. MVC Biology Professor Felipe Galicia said all labs in the building have been suspended and faculty are actively searching for alternative exercises that meet the objective of their labs.   

In addition to being a focal point for innovation and instruction, the Makerspace center is home to many student workers at MVC. With the holidays right around the corner and the Makerspace out of commission, student worker well-being became an added concern. Fortunately, student employees are being taken care of as their jobs have been moved to hybrid or completely remote.

The impact of the Science and Technology building closure continues to reverberate throughout the MVC community. Second-year geology major and DSS Student Worker/SI Leader Michael Martinez shared that the Makerspace Center helps a lot of the MVC Departments with projects for either personal or professional purposes. “The Makerspace is a huge loss for students seeking a creative outlet on campus,” he insisted.   

Efforts to safely salvage some equipment from the building along with plans to try and prevent any additional workshops or events from being canceled are ongoing. Regrettably, the upcoming MVC Expo which would’ve brought local K-12 students to campus has been canceled. Other scheduled events are in the process of being moved to different locations or adapted to a hybrid format.   

The STEM Engagement facility project, which was nearing completion has also been halted as there is no timetable on when the building can be reopened. Dr. Steinback optimistically estimated the best-case scenario for reopening the building is January 1st of the new year. She also graciously thanked the staff and students of MVC for their cooperation and commitment during this unforeseen event.   



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About the Contributor
Eric Pacheco
Eric Pacheco, Staff Writer
Eric Pacheco is a first-year student at Moreno Valley College. Eric is majoring in Journalism in pursuit of a professional career in the world of Sports Journalism.
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    Agustin CoriaNov 10, 2023 at 2:03 pm

    Very informative! Hope the damages are repaired quickly!