Community College Campus in Vacaville Floods

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VACAVILLE -- Caution tape and restoration company crews are not something you want to see on campus five days before the start of a new school year, but that's just what Solano Community College is facing at its Vacaville Center Annex.

"We had some damage due to a pipe breaking and water in the building, some of the ceiling tiles in the classrooms that have fallen down as well," said Celia Esposito-Noy, the college's superintendent-president.

The fire marshal kept FOX40's cameras outside, but that's what Esposito-Noy saw during a quick tour of the damage done to five classrooms inside a busy annex helping to serve 3,000 college students and some high schoolers.

PG&E was called out to address a torrent of water pouring over its lines and possibly being pulled down as load testing was done on the building's roof.

Why test the roof now?

"Well there's some work that we're doing to address the building, to see if we want to add on, what's the capacity, so just some of the stress-testing we do on a building that's been here for a while. This is not one of our brand-new buildings," said Esposito-Noy.

A sign was posted warning staff and students the annex would be closed Wednesday for that analysis.

According to Vacaville Fire Department Battalion Chief Matt Lage, when crews placed horse troughs filled with water on the roof for those tests, a beam failed, ripping down sprinklers as it fell, causing the flood.

The weight of the troughs and water amounted to about 12,000 pounds.

Vacaville Fire Captain Greg Chaloner says he's never seen the kind of tests that Construction Testing Services was performing Thursday when the beam fell.

FOX40 reached out to CTS, but was unable to get anyone to share the company's account of the flood.

Now on campus, in addition to clean-up, there's a college-size chess game underway to find space for students to learn while the Vacaville annex is out of commission.

"We already have a VP, a vice president and a dean working on that now, so we're gonna be ready for Monday," said Esposito-Noy.

Administrators expect to have an update on how classes will be moved to accommodate students by midday Thursday.

They plan to alert those affected directly via email.

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