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Flood leads to air conditioning failure in several buildings on Tempe campus

After a water line broke at the Central Plant building, students and faculty transition to remote learning and working

Central Plant pictured on Monday, May 20, 2024, in Tempe.

A campus water line failed at an essential ASU facilities building, forcing students and ASU employees to transition to online work and school until notified otherwise.

A water line break caused a flood in the Central Plant Facility basement. The Central Plant Facility is an essential building that produces air conditioning for campus buildings by pumping and distributing cool water. The damage from the flood led to an air conditioning outage for several buildings across the Tempe campus. 

"Facilities technicians are actively resolving the issue to ensure optimal cooling for key buildings until all the pumps are fully operational," an ASU spokesperson said in a written statement. 

The University later sent out an update to inform students and employees that University Services, the Fulton Center, University Center A, B, C, and the ASU Police Department, were unaffected.

An update, sent through the LiveSafe app, stated, "All employees whose presence is necessary to maintain university operations should work on campus. Continue to check email for additional information and updates."

According to a written statement from an ASU spokesperson, the campus water line failed on the morning of May 18. The next evening, an initial alert was sent out around 5 p.m. detailing information about building operations, summer classes and University work.

With the inoperable systems, Tempe-based University employees will work remotely starting May 20 unless their presence is needed to maintain University operations. For students, in-person summer classes will now be conducted online until further notice.

University students and faculty should check their emails for any updates regarding the air conditioning outage, according to a LiveSafe alert. 

Editor's Note: This story was updated at 10:19 a.m. to use more precise language. This is a developing story and may be updated.

Edited by George Headley, Sophia Ramirez and Alysa Horton.

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