Pipe break leads to some creative dining at Judson
By Emily McFarlan Miller firstname.lastname@example.org September 11, 2013 2:16PM
Updated: October 15, 2013 6:34AM
ELGIN — Replacing a wastewater pipe running underneath the Lindner Commons Dining Hall had not been on the menu this school year for Judson University.
But a “major” break in that pipe was discovered after a waste drain in the kitchen clogged on Sept. 2, according to Judson spokeswoman Mary Dulabaum. And that has led to some creative dining options over the past week and a half as work to replace the pipe has taken the university’s kitchen out of commission.
“We’ve been responding and bringing in different treats, as well as providing some things that we can provide — certainly the basics like peanut butter and cereal, every college students’ necessity got-to foods,” Dulabaum said. “We’re trying to also give them other food they would enjoy as well, since they can’t have their normal dining experience.”
That has included dinners from Chipotle, Chick-fil-A and Lou Malnati’s pizza, among others, according to posts on Judson’s Facebook page.
The university has used email and social media to alert its students “what good things await,” the spokeswoman said. Those meals are covered by students’ food service packages, she said.
Some have been “frustrated,” she admitted. Most have been “very kind,” and the university has incorporated input from students, offering vegan and gluten-free options.
That also has included a shaved ice stand set up outside Lindner Tower last Friday and late-night pizzas delivered to all the university dormitories last Thursday, according to the Facebook page. Judson President Gene Crume said in a message to students posted on Facebook that he wanted to assure them “no matter the circumstances, our mission at Judson University is to serve you, not just accommodate you.”
While work is being done to replace the pipe in the dining hall, food service has been moved to the Eagle Lounge Dining Hall, usually used for staff gatherings, Dulabaum said. Because that dining hall is smaller — it seats about 200 people instead of the usual 250 — the university also has set up a tent and picnic tables outside, she said.
The work includes digging a trench 70 feet long and 5 feet deep, she said. The new pipe will be laid at the proper pitch so it will be cleared by gravity instead of clogging, “the result of accumulated waste over many, many years,” according to the Facebook page.
Dulabaum said she was unsure how much that work would cost and if it would be covered by the university’s insurance.
Its goal is to have the pipe fixed, the kitchen sterilized and food service back to normal Monday, she said.