ZBT floods due to sprinkler pipe burst

Residents relocated to 100 Memorial Drive for spring semester

Sprinkler pipes in an upstairs triple at the Zeta Beta Tau house burst due to the cold and caused a flood Jan. 4. The brothers who were living in the house were relocated to apartments at 100 Memorial Drive.

Water destroyed most of the triple and spread to other areas of the house, including the kitchen, dining area, common space, basement, and hallway. None of the approximately 50 residents were injured, and the rooms on the opposite end of the hallway were not damaged.

The house is owned and operated by ZBT alumni. In an interview with The Tech, ZBT House Chair Allen Cheng ’20 said that none of the current ZBT trustees have experience dealing with extensive damages or relocation. According to Cheng, ZBT President Luis Sandoval ’19 mostly dealt with the immediate aftermath of the flood.

With many of the brothers returning to campus for IAP, ZBT relied on help from alumni for immediate accommodations. Cheng expressed that he felt the FSILG office and the DSL provided well for the brothers’ living accommodations; however, he also mentioned that “budget issues could have been better dealt with.”

ZBT is using its savings funds towards repairing the house and covering some of the costs of the 100 Memorial Dr. apartments so that the brothers can pay a similar rate for housing as the price of fraternity housing. MIT also has a contact person who is handling the insurance coverage.

The FSILG office and DSL are working closely with ZBT to aid the house repair process and find a space where ZBT can host its Campus Preview Weekend events, according to FSILG Director Brad Badgley.

“We’re definitely concerned about our ability to accommodate freshmen,” Cheng said.

The FSILG office and DSL have done their best to house the brothers together, according to Cheng. However, the brothers no longer have a common space, and they are also limited by concerns such as noise complaints. “I really do miss the aspect of how close people were,” Cheng said.

However, the house repairs ensure its future stability. “This could be a chance to fix up the house for the next ten, twenty years, which I think will be really good for us,” Cheng said. According to Cheng, the brothers are projected to be able to move back into the house by mid-July.