Gas leak leaves Livingstone students in the cold

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 31, 2016

By Rebecca Rider

SALISBURY — Livingstone College students are reporting that one of their residence halls has been without hot water for several days. The former Holiday Inn on Jake Alexander Boulevard South, now known as the School of Hospitality Management & Culinary Arts, is used for the college’s culinary and hospitality school. The old hotel rooms have been transformed into dormitories.

Malik Linebarger, a junior at Livingstone, said that when students arrived back from spring break, water from the faucets was “ice cold.” He was unsure how many days the hall has been without hot water, but said it was out when he arrived back in town a few days ago.

Linebarger said the school promised it would fix the issue by Tuesday, but today the water was still frigid. Linebarger said he and several other students were moved into Salisbury Hotel in January, after he alleged that there was an electrical issue at an on campus dormitory.

After talking to Linebarger, school officials requested that a Post reporter not talk to the hall’s residents.

Livingstone released a statement late afternoon on Wednesday, to say that the hot water was shut off on Friday after a gas leak was discovered in a pipe that controls the facility’s hot water heaters. Dr. State W. Alexander, III, vice president for communications and public relations said a company was hired to locate and repair the leak. It was found Wednesday morning.

“We will have the gas company inspect the pipe to ensure the leak has been properly addressed before having the gas turned back on. We regret the inconvenience being experienced by students and staff; however, ensuring their safety was our paramount concern,” Alexander said.

In the meantime, the school has arranged for residents to shower on campus. Alexander noted that staff members also live at the hotel and are “experiencing the same inconveniences as the students.”

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.