A section of the ceiling in the Communication and Journalism building collapsed Wednesday afternoon due to water damage from a second floor toilet.

The area was blocked off while water dripped through the ceiling until the University of New Mexico custodial staff from Facilities Management tended to the area.

Adan Garcia, the operations manager for the C&J Department, was among the first to notice the leak.



“We had a drip this morning from upstairs and so I watched it for a little bit, then around 12:30, I felt like it was getting worse,” he said. Garcia said he then went upstairs to look for the source of the leak.

“I noticed that the women’s bathroom upstairs was clogged and leaking to the floor downstairs,” he said.

After submitting a work service request, Garcia said he heard some of the ceiling tiles collapse leaving the buildings insulated wires and beams exposed.

“It wasn’t a big crash, it was like a thud,” Garcia said. “I go, ‘What was that?’ and saw some tiles fall to the ground.”

Garcia said no one was hurt.

Another work service request was filed with Facilities Management at 1:20 p.m., prompting the arrival of custodial services.

Mike Martinez is an expediter for the custodial crew with Facilities Management and one of the few to stop the leak and repair the ceiling.

“If there’s a water spill or sometimes a restroom overflows, we usually get called out in the afternoon,” Martinez said, pushing a carpet and tile cleaner through the C&J second floor hallway.

Martinez said custodial services tries to answer calls as quickly as they get them, but finding a way to get to the affected area and choosing which equipment to bring can hinder response time.

Martinez said the water damage is pretty mild.

“I’ve been on some that are pretty, pretty bad,” Martinez said, over the roar of the carpet cleaner.

Downstairs, the water was shut off as other crews got to work — the water pooling on the linoleum floor was mopped up and the damaged ceiling tiles were thrown away.

Other custodial service members said the water damage was light and would require new ceiling tiles.

Anthony Jackson is a staff reporter with the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @TonyAnjackson.