Faulty drinking fountain floods offices in Capitol

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Some offices in the state Capitol have suffered water damage due to a malfunctioning drinking fountain on the third floor, just outside the Senate chamber.


Pamela Trautner, a spokesperson for the Finance and Administration Cabinet, which operates and maintains all state office buildings, says it was discovered Sunday evening by a facilities security officer making his rounds, who noticed the spigot stuck in the on position.


“The officer turned it off and contacted the Department for Facilities and Support Services around 8 p.m.,” Trautner said.  “A maintenance technician came to the Capitol to turn off the fountain’s main water valve and put the fountain out-of-service. There was small amount of puddling, but nothing to indicate water damage below.”


The full extent of the problem was not noticed until workers opened the first and second floor offices Monday morning, according to Trautner.


“As soon as Facilities learned of the water damage on the first and second floors, crews began cleaning up the mess and assessing the damage,” she said.  “They are in the process of determining the scope of the damage along with estimated costs and timeframe for repair.”


Initial assessments indicate some wood paneling, carpet, ceiling tiles, and light fixtures will need to be repaired, Trautner said.


The areas affected include Supreme Court Justice Michelle Keller’s office, which is located on the second floor directly below the drinking fountain; as well as Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton’s office, which is on the first floor beneath Keller’s office.


Capitol maintenance crews have been using fans to try and dry out those offices affected by the water, before repair and replacement of damaged items begins, she said.


This is not the first time Justice Keller has had this type of issue. In January 2014, less than a year after joining the high court, a water leak at her northern Kentucky district office, on the eighth floor of the Kenton County Justice Center in Covington, caused water damage to furniture, documents and other items, which had to be replaced by the Administrative Office of the Courts.   

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