Robert Bell was evacuated due to a major water leak Monday afternoon.

Water flowed down the southeast side of the building around 2 p.m., spreading water to each of the four floors of Robert Bell.

Senior media strategist Marc Ransford said water pipes on the fourth floor were being pressurized during an annual inspection of the building when one of them burst, causing water to run down the building.

A tweet sent around 3 p.m. from Ball State Creative Writing said all English classes would be cancelled for the day. At around 3:15 p.m., an emergency alert stated Robert Bell would be closed all day and classes would resume 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The leakage caused the ceiling to collapse in RB 360 and damaged various walls. With offices and classrooms unsafe, professors and students were trying to find a way to still have class.




Ben Bishop, a second-year masters student in linguistics and TESOL said he was in his office when the water began rushing downstairs.

“One of my coworkers said that there was something happening, and I stepped out of my office and saw that a pipe had appeared to have burst because there was water flowing,” Bishop said.

Before the building was evacuated, Bishop said professors were trying to relocate classes to Bracken Library and save their office items from water damage.

Jake Helmen

A pipe burst on the fourth floor caused major flooding at Robert Bell, prompting an evacuation. The Robert Bell testing lab was also shut down, moving facilities to Bracken and the Student Center. Jake Helmen, DN

On the third floor of the library, professors were walking away from their offices with arms full of paper materials.

“We’ve moved all of our important files to safe locations if need be,” Bishop said.

A pipe burst on the fourth floor of Robert Bell caused flooding and an evacuation. Water trickled down to the third floor, causing damage to the walls and ceilings. Ben Bishop, Photo Provided

Fire alarms sounded in Robert Bell at 2:40 p.m. and an emergency alert was issued to evacuate students from the building.

The testing lab was relocated to Bracken Library in BL 008 until midnight Monday. There will also be a testing lab from 5 p.m. to midnight in BL 009.

University Police (UPD)  were on the scene and utilities personnel were cleaning the fourth floor before the building was evacuated.

UPD Capt. Kent Kurtz told professors before the evacuation to gather materials from their offices and leave.

“I spoke to facilities and we're trying to coordinate with them what they want to do in order to get everything all cleaned up,” Kurtz said.

Ransford said everyone was evacuated and is safe.

Rohith Rao contributed to this story.

Contact Sara Barker with comments at slbarker3@bsu.edu or on Twitter at @sarabarker326. Contact Liz Rieth with comments at ejrieth@bsu.edu or on Twitter @liz_rieth.