Bryan Tarania/Photo provided Damage from last week?s flood in Downtown Binghamton has caused Binghamton University to close the University Downtown Center.

Damage from last week’s flood in Downtown Binghamton has caused Binghamton University to close the University Downtown Center. School officials said there is no date for reopening the UDC in sight.

Jean-Pierre Mileur, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, said that water filled the lowest floor of the UDC during the flood.

University staff took action during the early stages of the flooding last Thursday to minimize the damage by moving computers and other equipment upstairs, Mileur said.

However, there was one crucial precaution the University was unable to take.

“We were not able to get the power turned off — NYSEG [New York State Electric and Gas Corporation] couldn’t get to it at the time,” Mileur said.

The UDC’s basement housed the building’s electrical system, which was ruined by the flooding. Repairing the electrical system is the main obstacle to reopening the building, according to Mileur.

“There was no flooding on the upper floors, but everything that kept the building running is out — the electrical system and elevators,” Mileur said. “The building is essentially uninhabitable until that is fixed.”

According to BU spokeswoman Gail Glover, the New York State Office of General Services is helping to restore the UDC.

“We are working with the Office of General Services, who are typically enlisted in emergency situations to evaluate the condition of the building systems and what is going to be needed to remediate or repair,” Glover said.

Mileur said no timetable has been established for when repairs will begin or when the building will reopen.

“It is awfully hard to estimate at this point. It’s not going to be anytime soon,” Mileur said. “It could be as long as an entire semester, although we’re hoping not.”

In the meantime, the University has relocated classes held at the UDC to the main campus, in various buildings including Lecture Hall, Library North and the Science buildings. Further locations are available online.

Seden Akcinaroglu, an assistant professor of political science at BU, said she has had to deal with multiple unexpected situations as a result of the flooding in Binghamton. She was stranded in her townhouse until Monday due to the floods. Her class, “The Political Economy of Globalization,” has been relocated from the UDC to campus.

Akcinaroglu said that the move affected her and her students in different ways.

“I prefer it because my office is at campus,” Akcinaroglu said. “I asked my students the same question, but they were unhappy. Apparently most of them lived Downtown.”

Patricia Gazdagrace teaches two classes that have moved locations from the UDC, “Adolescent Development” and “American Education in a Globalized Society.”

According to Gazdagrace, the relocation hasn’t changed or disrupted her students’ classroom experience.

“Everyone — students, faculty and administration — have been very helpful,” Gazdagrace said. “Communication of events has been excellent. The move to campus will not impact … my classes.”

Tara-Marie Lynch, a senior double-majoring in economics and political science, said she had mixed opinions about the relocation of her class, “The Cold War & American Political Culture.”

“The new room we have been assigned to suits us just as well. In fact, the new room located in Science IV exudes a ‘war room’ type of feel, which is quite fitting given that our seminar is about the Cold War,” she said.

However, Lynch said that she preferred her old commute even though she lives on campus.

“It really does seem like navigating through all these hideous construction areas is more of a hassle than just hopping on a bus and going to the UDC,” she said.

More information on where classes that formerly met at the UDC have been relocated is available on the provost’s page on the University’s website.