Rialto Recovery - 2018

Rialto Recovery


September 18, 2018
September 17, 2018
September 13, 2018
September 12, 2018
September 10, 2018
September 7, 2018
September 5, 2018
September 4, 2018
In the early hours of Tuesday, September 4, 2018, Towers Center experienced extensive heat and water damage due to a steam leak which activated the fire suppression system. Given the considerable amount of damage caused, the building has been closed for repairs, which includes service at Rialto Dining Center.
This page will be used to provide updates on the recovery project. Follow the Department of Residence on social media for prompts as information is added:








Here’s what happened:

  • A steam line failed causing steam build up in Rialto.
  • The excessive heat caused the sprinkler system to activate.
  • The air was so humid that it took a couple of hours for the building to cool and the moisture to dissipate.
  • Damage occurred due to the extreme heat and water:
    • Veneer delaminated from walls and tables
    • Ceiling tiles collapsed
    • Electrical outlets melted
    • Water damaged electrical equipment
    • Fire alarm panel was damaged

Within the first 48 hours:

  • The steam pipe was repaired and steam service was restored.
  • The chiller was restarted and air conditioning was functional.
  • Elevators in Bender and Dancer were restored.
  • Hot water in Bender and Dancer was restored.
  • Hundreds of fans and dehumidifiers began to dry and cool the building.
  • The insurance adjuster, health inspector, contractors and other vested parties surveyed the damage.

Staff from across campus have worked around the clock to remedy the situation and resolve the damage. We would especially like make note of the efforts of Facilities Management, Risk Management and Department of Residence staff.

We want to thank our students and the entire campus community for their support, patience and understanding as we work to resolve this unfortunate matter as quickly as possible and get Rialto Dining Center back up and running.


UPDATE: September 18, 2018

A contractor will be testing the fire alarm system in Towers Center, including Rialto Dining Center tomorrow, Wednesday, September 19 from 9:00-11:00am. If you hear the alarms going off, be assured it is only a test during these hours. In the case of an actual emergency, you will be notified by university staff to evacuate the building.

Sorry for the inconvenience. Please contact Facilities Management at 319-273-4400 if you have any questions.

UPDATE: September 17, 2018

Much progress was made in Rialto over the weekend in preparation for reopening at 5:00pm tomorrow (see photos above). A huge thank you to all of those who worked long hours over the weekend - this could not have been pulled off without such a fantastic team effort! Cosmetic work will be ongoing for an undetermined length of time. We greatly appreciate our students' understanding, patience and support during the continued recovery process.

UPDATE: September 13, 2018

We have great news to share! Plans to reopen Rialto are scheduled for Tuesday, September 18 at dinner (5:00pm).

That being said, it is our priority to provide a safe and sanitary dining experience for when Rialto reopens. Please know the issues preventing the dining center from reopening were associated with the underground steam tunnel and not within Rialto itself. The facility remains safe. We also want our guests to understand that upon opening, temporary cosmetic work will remain and continue to be a focus.

As always, we appreciate the support, patience and understanding that has been shown throughout this process. We hope that same support will continue as we still have work ahead, but are pleased that we are able to serve students again from Rialto.

The morning breakfasts in Bender and Dancer will continue through Tuesday morning.

UPDATE: September 12, 2018

The Facilities Management team working to restore the hot water to Bender and Dancer has informed us that the fix has been made and they are turning back on the hot water systems for each hall. The hot water will take a few hours to replenish and you will likely need to run the shower for a little bit longer than usual to get the hot water flowing throughout the building. 

Thank you so much for your patience and flexibility, we greatly appreciate it.

UPDATE: September 12, 2018

Much progress has been made in preparation for reopening Rialto Dining Center. However, due to events that occurred this past Monday, tentative timetables have been pushed back, though work has not slowed.

We’ve reached a significant milestone in that the building is now almost fully dried out. ServPro has been on-site since the initial incident drying the space with hundreds of fans and dehumidifiers. The drying process was slowed when air conditioning was lost again this past Monday. Now that the building is dry, repairs and cleaning needed to reopen Rialto can begin.

The steam leaks that occurred on September 4th and 10th were both located in the underground steam distribution system tunnel that provides utilities service to Towers Center and Rialto. Department of Residence staff is awaiting an update from Facilities Management staff regarding utility recovery. We will share that information as soon as it is made available to us. This includes an update on when hot water will be restored to Bender and Dancer.

Further information will be forthcoming as it pertains to additional meal service options. In the meantime, there is a “Walking Taco Dinner” scheduled for 5:00-6:00pm to and the “Brown Bag Breakfast” service will continue to run Monday-Friday, 7:30-9:15am – both in the first-floor lobbies of Bender and Dancer.

UPDATE: September 10, 2018

Bender and Dancer Residents:

We continue to clean and prepare Rialto to reopen. Bender and Dancer continue to be safe, however, hot water usage in those residence halls will be impacted for a short time. We are working with a team to restore the hot water to Bender and Dancer, but in the interim, please see options below for hot water and showers. We will update you as soon as the hot water is restored to Bender and Dancer, please check your email for further updates.

Temporary Shower Options for Bender/Dancer Residents:

Campbell Hall – All Bender and Dancer residents have temporary access to Campbell Hall exterior doors. Signage is up in the hall to direct you to the community bathrooms. Please bring shower supplies and towels.

WRC – The locker rooms in the WRC are available daily. Please check their website for specific hours. Please bring your shower supplies and towel if you plan to use the showers in the WRC.

Thank you for your patience as we bring Rialto back online.

UPDATE: September 10, 2018

At approximately 9 a.m. CDT UNI facilities services informed administration of a major steam leak that took place in the Rialto Dining Facility at 8:39 a.m.
A facilities employee was in the vicinity of the steam leak. At this juncture, local emergency personnel are working to assess the steam leak.
The facility has been closed for maintenance and repair from a prior steam leak that occurred on Sept. 4. More information will be made available as the event unfolds.
There were no additional employees near the steam leak or surrounding area.

UPDATE: September 7, 2018

There will be maintenance service on the generator power at Bender, Dancer & Towers Center today, September 7, from 10am - 2pm. 
During this time both elevators at Bender & Dancer will be shut down, please use alternate routes. This maintenance will impact the lighting in some areas throughout the buildings. Temperatures throughout the buildings may feel warmer than normal as well. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please contact Facilities Management at 273-4400 with any questions.

UPDATE: September 5, 2018

Starting Monday, September 10 a daily "brown bag breakfast" will be provided in the Bender and Dancer first floor lounges. This will be a buffet-style service where students can fill a brown bag with their choice of daily options including beverages, fruit, cereal cups, breakfast breads, pastries and other items convenient for carry-out on the way to class. This service will be provided Monday through Friday, 7:30-9:15 a.m. and continue until the Rialto Dining Center reopens.

On Wednesday, September 12 a “Walking Taco Dinner” will be provided in the Bender and Dancer first floor lounges. This will also be a buffet-style service of walking tacos with assorted toppings, dessert and individual beverages for carry-out. Service for this dinner will be from 5:00-6:00 p.m.

Meal services are open to all meal plan holders.

UPDATE: September 4, 2018

Rialto Dining Center will be closed for the foreseeable future due to damage sustained from the fire suppression incident that took place early this morning.

Facilities services will provide updates to UNI Student Affairs professionals as restoration timelines become available. In turn, we will share that information with students, faculty and staff to ensure your dining experience remains first-class.

In the interim, please continue to join us for meals at Piazza in Redeker Center. Thank you for your patience and kind understanding as we strive to bring you the best on campus dining experience possible during the Rialto Dining Center restoration project.

UPDATE: September 4, 2018

Last night, the fire suppression system at Towers Center was activated and the building experienced some water damage from the sprinklers. As a result, Rialto Dining Center will not be open today. We look forward to serving you at Piazza Dining Center in Redeker Center. We apologize and thank you sincerely in advance for your patience with the additional traffic at Piazza.