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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Alkek MakerSpace and Print Shop reopen after fire-related water damage

The+MakerSpace+was+closed+until+the+week+of+March+4.+It+was+closed+off+with+red+caution+tape%2C+Thursday%2C+Feb.+29%2C+2024+in+Alkek+Library.+
Blake Leschber
The MakerSpace was closed until the week of March 4. It was closed off with red caution tape, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024 in Alkek Library.

After a first-floor fire in Alkek Library on Feb. 16 caused water damage, the MakerSpace and Print Shop will reopen the week of March 4 after renovations.

Debbie Pitts, coordinator for marketing and communications at University Libraries, said the fire occurred at night after the library closed. The fire happened in a kitchen area, most likely due to an appliance catching fire, according to Pitts.

“[The fire] led to our fire suppression system going off in the area which led to a bunch of water damage,” Pitts said.

According to Pitts, the fire burned some materials in the kitchen. However, it was the water from the suppression system that caused the current damage rather than the fire.

“[The fire] really didn’t do damage in the room but it did burn some things in the room,” Pitts said. “But the biggest problem was the water damage.”

Pitts said the Texas State Facilities team has worked in the first-floor area since the fire happened.

“The facilities team have been here, drying out the carpets and replacing the lower drywall, getting it all set up to be able to be reopened,” Pitts said.

According to Pitts, students who want to use the Print Shop, which offers large format printing, scanning and laminating services, can use Copy Cats, located in the Nueces building, while waiting for the shop to reopen.

Pitts said the MakerSpace, which allows students to create objects with machines like 3D printers and embroiderers, was still able to offer workshops in other areas of the library, however, the space itself could not be used.

“As far as the MakerSpace, we’ve still been able to do workshops but we just haven’t been able to have people actually in the MakerSpace so we have sent people to the engineering building,” Pitts said. “People have just had to wait or find other places to do their projects.”

According to Pitts, the kitchen where the fire happened is completely cleared out with no appliances or kitchenware. The area may be used for storage in the future, but for now, it will remain empty to avoid any other possible fires.

Pitts said the library experienced water issues in the past but it has never had to shut down an area of the library.

“We’ve had to deal with this type of mitigation for water removal. We’re used to that,” Pitts said. “It’s just unfortunate that we had to actually close down some of our service areas.”

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