Snow days may be a rarity in Calgary, but weather-related class cancellations do occur. On March 2, the Health Sciences Centre, including the O'Brien Centre for the bachelor of health sciences, received significant water damage as a result of flooding after several pipes in the building burst. The cause is being investigated, but is thought to be due to freezing temperatures. The building was immediately evacuated and all graduate, undergraduate medicine and bachelor of health sciences classes were cancelled for two days while clean-up occurred.
While the O'Brien Centre administration offices and main lecture theatre for BHSc classes were untouched, 68 rooms were affected by the flooding, including the lab housing the computers used for bioinformatics courses. Damaged units are expected to be replaced and courses that require computer access have been transferred to the newly-renovated Health Sciences Library in the interim.
According to BHSc program coordinator Jennifer Logan, immediate action was taken to "ensure that there would be minimal interruption to the program," including putting emergency plans into action and keeping staff and students updated on the situation via e-mail. Logan acknowledged possible inconveniences for students working on laboratory research for their honours theses.
"Experiments may have been negatively affected," said Logan. "But the course coordinator for the honours thesis course is monitoring the situation."
Students in the BHSc program were assured course goals would be met and students in no way penalized because of the interruption. All classes in the building resumed as of March 5.
"Given the scale of what happened, disruption was minimal," said Logan.