Little mouse causes big power outage at various athletic buildings

Alyssa Kroeten

A mouse tripped a power switch, shutting off power in the Gibson-Nagurski football practice facility and Bierman Building Wednesday morning, Brad Hoff, chief administration officer for facilities management, said.

“I got to actually see the thing: Two-and-a-half inches long, no whiskers because they got fried off,” Hoff said.

Buildings originally affected in the outage were Williams Arena, the University Recreation Center, Cooke Hall, Ridder and Mariucci Arenas, the Aquatic Center, Bierman Building, the Gibson-Nagurski football practice facility and parts of McNamara Alumni Center.

Facilities management rerouted power to all buildings but Bierman and Gibson-Nagurski by 4:30 a.m. Wednesay morning, Hoff said.

Bierman Building and the football complex remained without power because the two buildings were isolated and power was rerouted, Hoff said.

Power was restored to those two buildings at approximately 1:40 p.m., Jeff Seifriz, program director of athletic facilities, said – just in time for the football team’s practice.

Football program meetings would have been temporarily relocated to Williams Arena if power was not restored, Garry Bowman, athletics communications director, said.

Power will have to be shut down for one day in order to replace the switch, Hoff said, until a new switch can be located from a local vendor.

Facilities Management will coordinate with athletics as to when the least disruptive time would be, Hoff said.

Seifriz said there is no good time to replace the switch because after the season ends this weekend football players begin training for next year.

“Football operation, as is athletics, is a year-round operation process,” Seifriz said. “There’s no really like off-time.”

Although squirrels are known to cause such trouble, a mouse is a little bizarre, Hoff said.

“It fell into the wrong area,” Hoff said. “It got fried.”