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Weber State University police cars sit outside the Browning Center as officials work to maintain a flood in the building and evacuate students and faculty. (Emily Crooks / The Signpost)

The Val A. Browning Center for Performing Arts flooded on March 23 in the afternoon.

“We were in rehearsal, and the fire alarm started to go off and we went to the Shepherd Union,” said Riley French, a student at Weber State and a part-time employee at the Browning center.

Patrick Kibbie was with French at the time.

“We came back to get into the building and people were out front, still not allowing us to go into the building,” Kibbie said.

Students had to get approval from the fire marshal before being allowed back into the building to collect their belongings.

“The fire marshal came back around and said that one of the sprinkler heads had broken and said the third, second and first floor on the south side of the building. … All of that side was covered in water, we’ve heard,” said French.

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Janitorial staff work to clear water in a hallway on the main floor of the Browning Center on March 23. (Emily Crooks / The Signpost)

Two years ago, there was a flood in the Allred Theater and the floor and soft goods were replaced after. The Austad auditorium received new flooring and soft goods about four years ago.

“Soft goods, our curtains, are the most expensive things in the world — there’s the cyc curtain in the back, the main curtains, the legs — they’re all called soft goods, and they’re super expensive and water-damageable, but they’re insured,” said French.

It is not known how the flooding will impact future performances at the Browning Center, though the performance on March 23 of “The Marriage of Figaro” will continue.

The Signpost will update this story as information becomes available.

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A ceiling leaks water down to the first floor of the Browning Center on March 23. (Emily Crooks / The Signpost)

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