Flooding closes Wilfrid Laurier University's gym for 4 weeks

Athletes at Wilfrid Laurier University have been foiled by infrastructure issues in two venues. The athletic complex is closed indefinitely after flooding last week. A separate mechanical problem has closed its 50 m pool.

Three-court gym closed due to flooding, pool closed due to mechanical problem

Work has begun rebuilding the flooded floor of the gymnasium at Wilfrid Laurier University's athletic complex, January 15, 2018. (Laurier Athletics)

Athletes at Wilfrid Laurier University have been foiled by infrastructure issues in two venues. The athletic complex is closed for at least a month after flooding last week. A separate mechanical problem has closed the university's 50 metre pool. 

The three-court gymnasium at Wilfrid Laurier University's athletic complex will be closed for several weeks after flooding overnight Wednesday damaged the facility's floor. 

The women's and men's varsity basketball teams will practise and play their home games elsewhere until it is fixed.

"Over the course of the weekend, a company will be on site to assess the damage to the gym floor," wrote spokesman Jamie Howieson in an advisory on Friday.

That company has now done an initial assessment of the damage and though they don't yet have a cost estimate, it's clear the gym will out of commission for the next four weeks, director of athletics and recreation Peter Baxter told CBC News. 

Centre court damaged

Work was being done on the athletic complex roof to install solar panels, when last week's warm temperatures melted accumulated snow said Baxter. 

Water pooled and leaked through the roof Wednesday night, damaging a quarter to a third of the gym floor right over centre court.

"But of course you don't know where the water seeps underneath too, right? So ... if one area shifts, it sort of ripples in different areas of the floor," said Baxter. 

This weekend's home basketball games will instead be played at the University of Waterloo, with an alternative arrangement in the works for the rest of the month.

Specialized hardwood

Westpoint Floor, a specialized sports flooring company based out of Aurora, Ont, has been brought in to do the repairs. They also built and maintain the flooring the Toronto Raptors play on. 

It's much more sophisticated than what you would have on your living room floor or kitchen floor if you had hardwood in there," said Baxter. "It has a subfloor but it also has a suspension system to allow for proper sport performance like the bounce of the ball."
The 50m pool at Wilfrid Laurier's athletic complex is also closed until further notice, unrelated to the flooding at its gym. The pool is home to the Golden Hawk swimming team and the Region of Waterloo Swim Club. (@WLUAthletics/Twitter)

Pool closed

The rest of the university's athletic facilities are open — except for the Olympic-length pool which is closed due to separate "mechanical problems" unrelated to the flooding in the gymnasium. 

One of the pool's two pumps failed on Friday, said Baxter. The replacement is expected to arrive late Monday and he said the pool should be up and running again by Wednesday.

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