When your museum is part of a university, you occasionally encounter matters beyond your control that nonetheless have an impact on your life. Consider, for example, the case of MOCRA’s front lawn, a courtyard shared with the rest of the Fusz Memorial building. Several weeks ago, we noticed that a section of the lawn was not draining as well as usual. In fact, it was coming to look alarmingly like a wetlands, and was becoming quite popular with the campus bird and squirrel population.
After some intramural attempts at remedying the situation failed to dry things out, our facilities crew called in some reinforcements. I looked out MOCRA’s lobby doors on Monday morning to see …
I popped outside, camera in hand, to document the proceedings.
The suspected culprit was a water line feeding from a city main that runs down the campus mall. First, a precautionary shut-off of the water to the building.
Then the digging began. Early estimates were that they might have to go down as far as 18 feet to find the pipe, which would result in a terraced series of cuts into the lawn.
Fortunately for all concerned, the pipe was encountered less than 7 feet down. Even at that depth, the crew had already had to cut through some stubborn Missouri clay.
The pipe indeed had a break in it. In short order they replaced that section and filled everything back in.
Now we wait to see if the problem is solved or if there are additional cracks in the pipe. Our thanks to the grounds and facilities crews, and to the contractors, for their efforts to rectify the situation. Although we’ll miss the spectacle of squirrels floating in the puddles with their water wings, we’ll be glad to look out our door onto good solid (and dry) ground.
— David Brinker, Assistant Director