University focuses on SAC, Dow building for flood repairs


The lower level of the Student Activity Center, under repair from flooding damage, on July 3.

While the estimated costs of damage are still being calculated, the Student Activity Center, Dow Science Complex and Theunissen Stadium will need the most repairs after flooding on June 23.

The total cost of damage is still within the $7-10 million range that was initially reported, with 51 buildings on campus being affected by the flooding, said Jonathan Webb, associate vice president of the Facilities Management Administration. The university is still in the process of working with insurance adjustors to make accurate damage assessments.

In the SAC, repairs include replacement of the flooring in the Large and Small Sports Forum courts, which was heavily-damaged by flood waters. Also damaged by the flooding were the weight-training center, SAC pool and M.P. Fit room.Webb said that all facilities in the SAC will be repaired and operational by the time Leadership Safari begins in August.

The basement facilities of the Dow Science Complex were damaged by the flooding. Assessments are still being done to determine where and how water entered the basement, and how to mitigate similar flooding in the future, Webb said.

"We have engineers and technicians trying to figure out exactly how the flooding happened," Webb said. "Unfortunately, it isn't always obvious how these things happen. There's two aspects of this process; there's recovering form the damage, and there's trying to prevent this from happening again."

"(The university) isn't designed to handle a 'hundred year storm,' but we want to at least be able to protect these buildings."

Webb praised Facilities Management teams for their quick and effective response to flooding in Theunissen Stadium and the Baseball Performance Enhancement Center. Teams are currently in the process of removing all interior finishes, furniture and locker room equipment so further repairs can be made. 

Webb said that the flooding exposed some weak points in the campus' storm sewer system. In particular, the flooding on East Campus Drive was due to a defective section of clay pipe that collapsed when the flooding started, causing over 18 inches of rain to pool in the road.


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