The Daily Gamecock

Professor’s office closed by flooding

Hamilton College room needs new carpeting

When the flood waters from Sunday’s monsoon subsided, the official consensus was that there was no major damage and USC’s campus had been spared Mother Nature’s wrath.

But at least one professor’s office was not.

Anthropology professor Kimberly Cavanagh was called to her Hamilton College office Sunday evening by a couple of graduate students. Hamilton, built in 1943, is not typically in good shape, but this was a disaster, she said.

“The carpet was so thick that it was hard to open the door,” Cavanagh said.

Cavanagh suspects the water infiltrated her underground office on Pendleton Street through her air conditioning unit, then flooded her office and seeped out into the hallway.

“It was only the carpeting, but the problem in Hamilton is that you have a lot of mold issues,” Cavanagh said. “The carpeting needs to be ripped out. I don’t know how you combat mold, but they’re going to have to do something because the whole wall is just wooden shelves.”

Cavanagh’s office still reeked of mildew Wednesday night, even after maintenance workers had left the building’s doors open for two days. Earlier that day, she received a message to move everything out because her office had become too dangerous.

“Luckily, one of our professors is actually in Taiwan this semester so they’re letting me use his desk,” Cavanagh said.

USC spokeswoman Margaret Lamb said late Wednesday she was not aware of the damage. Tom Syfert, associate vice president of Environmental Health and Safety, said he only knew of a team working there on routine tile removal. Cavanagh complimented maintenance on its quick response to her musty, damp office. She said there are already enough problems in Hamilton associated with its age.

“But it’s a great building, though,” Cavanagh said. “The office space is great there.”

Except for when it stinks.