Rec center faces damage, closure
3 years ago Teddi Cliett 2
Parts of Sam Houston State University’s recreational center are closed until at least the end of the semester while repairs are made to the water damaged property.
Pictures and video captured the damage that the lower level of the rec suffered Thursday evening while the area was under tornado watch, including a hole in the wall and standing water.
“The majority of the damage that you’ve seen from social media or whatnot has been sustained to the rock wall area and that lower section of the rec center,” Melissa Fadler, associate director of marketing and promotions for the rec center, said. “The multipurpose room two, the climbing wall area and our fitness assessment room were all flooded with about a foot-and-a-half of water.”
However, Fadler said that the damages go beyond the pictures that have been posted on social media.
“I know a lot of people think that it was just that one space that we needed to shut down, but the truth is that whenever all the water came through…the building, a lot of the mud from the construction area up above collected in our pool [and] came into the main weight room,” Fadler said. “Because there was so much water, it actually flooded a lot of the weight room as well.”
The rec center is currently facing approximately $1-2 million in reparations which will be covered under insurance. Currently, the center is trying to remove all of the leftover water and mud before replacing damaged property.
“They’ve cleaned up all the mud and they’ve cleaned up most of the standing water,” Fadler said. “They boarded up the hole. Right now what they’re doing is pumping in hot air to try to evaporate as much of the water that might still be stuck underneath the floors and the walls as possible. The appraiser said that because we suffered water damage in the walls and floors, we’re going to have to replace [them].”
As for the pool, mud is still being removed.
“Right now what we’re trying to do is pump out all that mud as much as possible so we can get the pump room functioning again so we can start circulating water,” Fadler said. “Right now they’re still looking at the damage that was caused to that area, but once we can get the mud out, we’ll have a much better idea of what we need to replace.”
Certain areas of HKC remain open for student and faculty use, however.
“We’re still sort of open,” Fadler said. “The basketball courts are still open, we’re still monitoring various areas [and] we’re still offering fitness classes, just in different rooms. The [HKC] department has generously offered to share [their weight room] with us so we’re able to at least let people lift weights in that smaller room. Our elevated track is still open and if people need extra fitness space, they can use the racquetball courts for open rec.”
As of right now, there is no predicted reopening date.
“That’s a very fluid situation,” Fadler said. “The newer part of the building is going to be closed at least until the end of the semester. We’re hoping for the best, but we really don’t know at this point.”