Photo courtesy of Noah Manalo
By Noah Manalo
Monday is often seen as a tough start to a long week. However, students at the University of Pittsburgh who have classes before noon received good news to begin their week.
The Cathedral of Learning will be closed until 12:00 p.m. today due to a water main break that flooded the third floor of the building where the University hosts many of its classes.The announcement came through two avenues: the police that were blocking off entrances to the building and also the University of Pittsburgh’s ENS alert system, which was sent via email to every student alerting them that if they have classes scheduled before noon, they’re cancelled today.
Students were gathered at each of the four entrances of the Cathedral of Learning patiently waiting to be let into class. Police were busy ushering students and staff out of the building, while blocking off each entrance with signs. Puddles of water were continuing to form from out of the doors. At 10:02 AM, one police officer shouted to the crowd gathered on the William Pitt Union side that “If you have class in the next few hours, you might as well go because you’re not getting in here for a while.”
At the announcement, student reactions ranged from mild contentment to outright cheering, and the crowds began to disperse. One undergraduate stated, “this is the best news I could have gotten today. I’m so out of it, and I’m taking a 10A and going home,” before running off to catch the bus. Another student commented, “Thank God. I totally forgot to finish some homework, so now I have time to do that.”
When asked to comment where the flooding was taking place, a University Police Officer simply stated “It’s everywhere.” Another officer shouted down from above the Cathedral fountain that “classes are cancelled until noon.” The email and text message sent at 10:11 AM through the ENS confirmed this time.
The 42-story building is often cited in fun facts about the University of Pittsburgh, especially by the student-led tour group The Pitt Pathfinders. It is home to a large number of the departments at Pitt, especially most of the Language faculty. It is also the site of the well-known nationality rooms, which their website describes as “Rooms that show the good things immigrants brought to America…”
It is unclear at the time of publishing what the effects of this flooding are on the building or if evening classes will resume. Some cleaning equipment was being taken into the building, but there is no knowledge of how much damage to the building, or the contents inside is damaged.
UPDATE: ENS has alerted students and faculty that the Cathedral of Learning is closed until further notice. Students with 6 p.m. classes are being told to check for updates throughout the day.