University of Wyoming crews and a UW contractor are working to assess and repair damage following a spate of water line breaks over the winter holiday.

Line breaks have prompted the temporary closure of the UW Student Health Service while the water line is repaired and clean-up takes place. UW Spokesman Chad Baldwin says that the closure of the Student Health Service is not anticipated to be lengthy, although an estimated date to reopen has not yet been established. Those needing assistance should call 766-2130.

Coe Library has reopened after the winter break despite three water line breaks, one on the sixth floor and two on the main floor. Baldwin has confirmed that there has been some damage to books in the library.

“There is significant damage to some of the collection there,” says Baldwin. “But we are hoping that through the proper handling that everything will be okay.”

Portions of the collection are scattered in the library and at the American Heritage Center, and library officials ask visitors to avoid areas where restoration is taking place and fans are in use. Workers at the circulation desk are available to assist in locating materials.

No other functions of the university have been interrupted.

Also affected by the breaks were the Washakie Dining Center, the History Building, the State Veterinary Laboratory, the Indoor Practice Facility and the Visual Arts Building.

It appears that frozen pipes due to subzero weather caused most of the breaks, although the factors that led to the pipes’ exposure to cold temperatures vary.

“We appreciate the significant efforts made by the Laramie Fire Department, UW employees and others to respond to these unfortunate line breaks,” Vice President for Administration Bill Mai says. “In addition to making sure cleanup and repairs take place in a timely manner, the university will assess each situation to determine exactly what happened and why.”

No cost estimates of damages are yet available. Damages include saturated ceiling panels, carpet, sheet rock and insulation, wet books, and some damaged electronic and scientific equipment.

Crews from UW and Belfor Inc., a property restoration company, are engaged in cleanup and repair.