Some classes got off to a soggy start at McPherson College.

Some classes got off to a soggy start at McPherson College.

During a storm on Aug. 19, between 5 and 6 p.m., water got into tunnels that lead to the basement of the Hess Fine Arts Building. About 3 inches of rain fell in a 90-minute period, leaving three-quarters of an inch of water on the floor.

"One of the tunnels flooded as a result of construction," said Marty Sigwing, director of facilities for the college. "There was a lot of dirt work, and tunnels were being opened and closed. All that rain overwhelmed the system."

That amount of water in a building could have been disastrous, but workers responded quickly and were able to prevent lasting structural damage.

"The water alarms went off, and we responded within an hour and a half," Sigwing said. "We were able to get it completely dry and minimize the damage."

Items that were left on the floor suffered water damage, including art supplies, power strips and server equipment that will have to be replaced. Some theater clothing and a harpsichord prop were also damaged.

However, Sigwing said the quick response averted significant damage to sheet rock and other structural materials. Sigwing also said no major works of art were damaged.

The total amount of damage has not been tallied, but Sigwing said the college is working with the contractors who left the tunnels open to replace lost items. As a result, there will be no direct cost to the college to replace lost items.

"The fact that we got the water cleared out that same night was a great help," Sigwing said. "There's no mold or spores or anything growing. The main concern was that we don't have any health hazards for visitors in the building."

Classes scheduled to take place in affected areas, mainly art classes, were relocated for a few days, but have resumed in regularly scheduled areas.