WOW Café Roof Leakage and Closings 

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By Martin S. Hussey Jr., Correspondent

Image Credit: Jason Marsan for Horizons

Over the last couple of weeks, students and faculty may have noticed the damage to the ceiling around WOW Café and the Student Union in general. On Jan. 17, the Prescott Business Affairs Department sent out an email that announced the restaurant would be closed on that day as well as the next day, Jan. 18. 

To get the full story, Brad Sinn, the director of campus facilities, was interviewed over email about the damage by Horizons Newspaper, and his responses helped clear things up. 

According to Sinn, the trouble began during a hailstorm in July 2021. Many buildings on campus were damaged, including the Student Union, the Davis Learning Center (DLC), Academic Complex 1 (Building AC1), the Advanced Vehicle Lab (Building F1), and the upper part of Hazy Library. As there was a serious shortage of roofing materials in the region, the university chose to allocate its resources to full roof replacements for the buildings that were the most important, such as most of those stated above. As for the Student Union, there was no structural damage or an actual collapse, only a damaged roof membrane, so it was temporarily repaired and stabilized as best as possible. These temporary repairs cost under $5,000. 

With the active monsoon seasons and the constant freezing and thawing cycles of the last two winters, the repairs on the student union were failing, and according to Sinn, “the roof is in worse shape than last year at this time.” However, currently there are no shortages of roofing materials, which means that the roof will be permanently fixed. Some repairs were made Jan. 30, which will Sinn says will avoid the closure of WOW Café until the final work starts in April. It is expected that the construction of the new roof will be done by June, just before the start of the 2023–2024 school year. 

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