University News

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block updates campus community on clean-up work

A message from UCLA Chancellor Gene Block on the day after a water main break flooded part of campus. Previous message.

To the Campus Community:

As campus crews and contractors continue removing water from buildings and clearing debris from areas affected by Tuesday’s water main break, I want to thank everyone for their patience, hard work, and generous assistance to their colleagues and strangers.

I also want to update you on our progress so far during this difficult situation. Large blowers have been brought into Pauley Pavilion, the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center, J.D. Morgan Center and John Wooden Center. UCLA Extension remains open, and our Fernald and Krieger child care centers will reopen Thursday. Summer camps were closed today but are scheduled to reopen Thursday.

Let us remember that, although there have been disruptions for many of us, we are very fortunate that no injuries have been reported.

Standing water is still being pumped from parking structures 4 and 7, but if you have a vehicle inside either one, please do not approach the structures. Because the garages are still unsafe for public access, vehicles will be moved to a safe location where owners can retrieve them. We hope that this will take place in time for owners to pick up their vehicles beginning on Friday, and we will ensure that the structures are secure before reopening them.

Power has been restored in the Ashe Center, which is scheduled to reopen Thursday. The Wooden Center remains closed and without power at this time, but we are working to return to normal operations as soon as possible. A campuswide damage assessment will be conducted after buildings are dried and debris removed, which likely will require several days.

With so many vehicles still located in the parking structures — our best estimate now is around 900 — I encourage supervisors to let affected employees telecommute or alter their shift schedules when possible. Employees who can’t get to their cars are being offered another day of administrative leave with pay, subject to supervisors’ approval. Those who need to report to campus during the next few days may wish to visit UCLA Transportation’s website for information about alternative commuting options.

Likewise, students with vehicles that are damaged or inaccessible should know that we have asked academic departments to be flexible about accommodating the needs of those who cannot get to class, attend final exams or complete assignments on time due to the flooding. And students in need of emergency short-term loans may contact our Loan Services Office.

Unfortunately, these events have taken place during Summer Sessions finals week, a stressful time for students and others. Anyone who needs support should go to the Counseling and Psychological Services (students) or Staff and Faculty Counseling Center websites.

Although 8 to 10 inches of water pooled on the Pauley Pavilion floor last night, rest assured that our iconic arena — home to basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and campus events like Commencement and Spring Sing — will be ready for the opening of the fall sports seasons. Crews are continuing to dry the arena using large blowers, and we’ll assess the damage as soon as we can. If it’s determined that we need to replace the Nell and John Wooden Court, we will.

Finally, I want to recognize the outpouring of generosity from our campus community. The Office of Residential Life provided warm beds for 20 people who were unable to drive home Tuesday night; many of you formed impromptu carpools to make sure friends and colleagues got home safely; and I already have heard of numerous other examples of Bruins helping Bruins. Please continue to demonstrate your True Bruin spirit, and lend a hand if you see an opportunity to do so.

Sincerely,

Gene D. Block
Chancellor

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