Music building indefinitely closed? It looks like Thornton students will be singin’ in the rain.

Thornton music complex was flooded following a slew of rainstorms, forcing a temporary closure.

Equipment sits in the basement of the Thornton Music Complex after a flood led to the inability to use the facilities. (Photo by Peter Makk)

The Music Complex building at Thornton was closed indefinitely on Monday after heavy rainfall flooded the building’s mechanical room, blowing the main power transformer and causing a power outage.

“We are hoping to only be down for this week, but it may be shorter or longer depending on how fast many of the building systems can be repaired and examined,’ said Thornton operations manager Marvin Munson. “In the meantime, we are asking classes to be online this week or trying to find alternate meeting spaces.”

Students were notified via email by Interim Dean Josh Kun that the building was completely without power — HVAC, card readers, phones, and restroom services are all still inoperative. Continuity plans for classes, lessons and office work are contingent on the upcoming week while USC Facilities Management and Restoration Services work to get the building functional again.

It’s not often that USC has to deal with this level of rain damage. According to the Los Angeles Almanac, Downtown L.A.’s cumulative rainfall for this season sits at 14.27 inches — two inches more than normal for an entire season, with four months left to go.

“The standing water was isolated to an electrical room, which is why the power went out,” said Munson. “There is no other standing water — that was pumped out. The main problem preventing classes right now [is] the lack of electricity.”

USC facilities personnel are scrambling to fix the damage and reinstate electricity. Acquiring the equipment needed has stalled the process.

“We’re reaching out to several vendors right now and seeing how quick[ly] they can turn around some of the equipment that we need,” said USC construction traders supervisor Raul Martinez. “There are other trades that are involved also, and it depends on how quickly they can get their equipment that they need to replace.”

However, these students know how to make do with these difficult circumstances all too well. Many have become accustomed to hybrid learning during the COVID-19 pandemic — some are just now taking their first in-person classes.

“These students have been through a lockdown, most of them,” said Professor Andy Abad, who is an adjunct instructor at Thornton. “It’s something that’s not completely foreign to them. But if it turned into several weeks, I would assume that the sense of frustration from them would increase because they want one-on-one instruction.”

With midterm season in full swing, this prior knowledge of remote learning will work in their favor and hopefully alleviate some stress during their exams.

“It shouldn’t affect it too much. We’ve all had online classes in the past,” said Aspen Jacobsen, a freshman studying popular music performance with a songwriting emphasis at Thornton. “The practice rooms in University Gateway were unaffected, so we still have practice spaces for midterms.”

According to an email from Phillip Placenti, the school’s associate dean for admission and student affairs, the affected spaces will be reopened within a week. However, it is difficult to say for sure at this time, as they are still awaiting more information.