Water damage closes Terrace
Some food operations on the Wilfrid Laurier University campus haven’t been receiving much luck lately.
Along with Wilf’s being closed for the remainder of the semester due to flooding in late October, the Terrace food court on the lower level of the Fred Nichols Campus Centre (FNCC) was closed Tuesday afternoon and will remain that way until Friday because of the extensive amounts of mould found above the Union Market, as well as on upper level of the food court.
According to Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union (WLUSU) general manager Union Market will remain closed when the rest of the Terrace reopens Friday.
“For us to clean the upper area, that would expose the whole food court, the spores could spread to the whole food court,” explained Nick Gibson, president and CEO of WLUSU . “Before we start [cleaning] that, we had to close the whole thing.”
On Nov. 25, mould was found on the upper level of the Terrace, but the food court, instead of closing as a whole, just blocked off of the infected areas. On Tuesday morning, however, as more ceiling was exposed, larger amounts of mould were found that resulted in the immediate closure of the food court operations.
According to the report given to WLUSU, the sewage and water from the Wilf’s flood in late October —which sunk into the lower level and also temporarily closed the Terrace — was the primary reason to why mould developed in those areas. However, Gibson believes this isn’t the only factor.
“That’s what we’re thinking right now, I’m personally not convinced of that, because it is quite extensive and there’s no way in my mind that it would grow that quickly,” added Gibson. “With that said, it could have been prime conditions for it and it could have grown that quickly.”
As for the cost of the damages, Gibson hopes that insurance will cover it, but he isn’t entirely sure as of yet. “That hasn’t been confirmed right now but we’re confident that will be avenue we could pursue,” he said.
Even though the Wilf’s flood may have been the potential primary cause of the mould, Gibson asserted that Wilf’s remains in good shape and is still expected to reopen for the winter term. As for Aramark, the company that took control of Terrace operations in September, they are expected to work with WLUSU and the construction companies to ensure the environment is safe. But with it being closed for two full days, it is expected to lose some profit.
“There’s a loss of business there for sure, but given that it’s only a couple of days it will be relatively insignificant,” continued Gibson.
While it is frustrating for Gibson that this had to happen, particularly for first years who have limited options of where to eat on campus now, he said it was necessary to keep students safe.
“From my standpoint, I’m not that concerned about that as students have drastically less food options to eat on campus. That’s a frustration,” he concluded. “I don’t want any student getting sick so that’s the call we have to make.”