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CIS building still feeling hurricane effects

Mass communications professor Timothy Bajkiewicz’s temporary office on the first floor of the Communication and Information Sciences building is the size of a closet. His old office, Room 3100, is much larger, but now smells of mildew. There are water spots on the ceiling and a tarp covering a bookcase. Two thin white tubes, in place to funnel water from a dripping roof, lead into a yellow recycling bin.

“They put the room on life support,” said Bajkiewicz.

Bajkiewicz’s damaged office is the result of rainwater leakage in the CIS building. So far, the water has affected at least 10 rooms.

“From what I understand, the roof of CIS has been a problem for years,” he said.

The ceiling has leaked in his office four times since August. On Jan. 13, he moved his most important items out of the room because he expected rain the following day.

“I had a sign,” he said. “It said, ‘Rain is coming. The end is nigh.'”

He said his message was almost prophetic. His office was completely drenched the next time he entered.

“I never suspected it would be such a total disaster the next day,” he said.

In Room 3101, adjunct professor Neil Vicino shares a similar experience. His room, next door to Bajkiewicz’s old office, was troubled by a leaky ceiling three times.

“It got just about everything,” Vicino said.

He said that several of his belongings, including irreplaceable personal items, student projects, a computer and a printer, were damaged or destroyed by the water. He said he has temporarily moved some of his belongings down to first floor.

“This is a result of Hurricane Jeanne,” USF Media Relations Director Michelle Carlyon said.

Temporary repairs were done to make the building inhabitable so that students could continue to attend classes last fall, Carlyon said.

“(Maintenance workers) basically patched some holes after the hurricane,” she said.CIS was not the only building damaged during the hurricane. Several professor offices are still experiencing water damage and leakages along with Cooper Hall.

Carlyon said work on the roof would begin early next month. It will take three or four weeks to complete.

Until then, it looks as though Bajkiewicz will have to remain in his tiny makeshift office space in the television production studio area, and Vicino will have to keep his computer three floors away from his workspace.

“It almost looks like something out of a sci-fi movie,” Vicino said, referring to the three tubes dangling alongside his desk to keep rainwater from spilling on the floor.

“I’d just like to have it all repaired, and then tested,” he said.