Gym status still unknown


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After approximately 600 gallons of water spilled on the multi-activity court at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center, the reopening remains a mystery.

Despite weeks of renovations, retiling, and drying of the hardwood gym floor, there is still work to be done before the area is fit to open to the public, said Michelle Harder, a senior associate director of Recreational Services.

“At this point in time, we’re just letting the floor dry out … and we don’t know how long it will have to sit. We’re just going to take it a week at a time and see where the warping has occurred,” Harder said.

On Jan. 26, during a game of indoor soccer, a stray soccer ball struck one of the cage sprinkler heads above the MAC gym. The ball was then able to penetrate the cage and break the sprinkler head off, releasing an estimated 600 gallons of water onto the gym floor.

The water seeped through the hardwood floor down into the men’s member and club locker rooms below, leaking into the drywall.

Justin Holman, Recreational Services assistant director of marketing and membership services, said the Iowa City Fire Department arrived at the Rec Center in six minutes, shutting off the building’s water and clearing the building.

Soon after, the Rec Center then enlisted the assistance of SERVPRO to help dry the floor. As of this week, SERVPRO still has tarps laid across the floor to advance the drying process.

The men’s locker room’s reopened in under 24 hours, Harder said. With drywall pulled out, the rooms were opened with certain areas quartered off from the public to allow the drywall to finish drying.

As of Thursday, the locker rooms are opened again and fully operational.

The gym area, however, is closed “until further notice.” The Rec Center staff is still waiting to see the full extent of the damage to determine whether further repairs must be made, or to replace the floor entirely.

Harder said currently the cost of damages couldn’t be estimated due to not knowing whether the floor will need to be fully replaced.

She said they haven’t received an invoice from SERVPRO and the cost of the floor has the potential to heavily vary the cost.

The MAC Gym will, however, be available to divers in the upcoming Big Ten swimming and diving championships as well as the NCAA swimming and diving championships taking place in March.

The MAC Gym has been designated as the dryland area for the participating divers, allowing the athletes room to do calisthenics and stretch.

“[The MAC Gym] has really been popular, and I feel sorry for all the patrons who use it, especially considering how cold it is outside,” Harder said.

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