A nightmare unfolded for hundreds of WSU students in Pullman Wednesday when they weren't able to finish online finals because a pipe burst in the campus IT building, throwing the university's web systems offline.
Around 7 a.m. workers discovered a frozen water pipe had burst in the IT building.
"We had water flowing into the basement room into the servers," Kathy Barnard with University Communications said.
This shut down the university's website. Students taking online finals weren't able to finish.
"It's unfortunate, I think inconvenient and disruptive for students," Barnard said.
Crews worked throughout Wednesday to clean up the IT building, bringing fans to dry out the affected areas while staffers got creative, taking to Twitter, Tumblr and other online platforms to alert the university of the problem.
"We've used every available channel we have to get the word out," Barnard said.
For roughly 520 students taking the Com 105 exam when WSU's web systems went down Wednesday morning, Professor Todd Norton said not to panic.
"Because it's an online call we have a lot of flexibility, we don't have to meet in a classroom for them to take it so we'll find an alternative time that works for all the students, so we'll make it right," Norton said.
In-class finals have not been affected.
As of Wednesday afternoon the university website remained offline, while the university's online student information system was back up and running.
Students who weren't able to take their online finals should contact their professors to get a make up exam time. The university said it will work with everyone to make sure students have an opportunity to complete those finals.
WSU does not know the overall cost for the damage done to the IT building yet.