Six weeks after a flood in the Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness destroyed part of one basketball court, the affected court has been repaired and is available for use.

The incident occurred around 4 p.m. on Aug. 17, when a student accidentally caused the leak by kicking a soccer ball that hit one of the sprinkler heads and broke it off.

"It was just an unfortunate accident," said Paul Lozo, assistant director for operations and maintenance.

Lozo said the leak had affected a majority of the floor and a small amount of the insulation.

"Fortunately, it happened late in the afternoon when Campus Recreation had a lot of staff still there," Lozo said, "and so they were able to contain a lot of the water from it to prevent it from running all over the floor. It could have been much worse."

Marti Tomlin, assistant director for facilities at the Weinstein Center, said that the accident had occurred on the day of facility supervisor training. Somebody ran by the conference room where they were having a meeting and said there had been an emergency in the gym, Tomlin said.

"[The water] was like a mist," she said.

Tom Roberts, director for recreation and wellness, suggested that the staff at the Weinstein Center roll in a cart of towels and make a semicircle of towels, three or four towels wide and tall, to dam the water, Tomlin said.

Tomlin said that a couple of inches of water had accumulated on the floor, but that they filled large trash cans with the water from the most concentrated area.

University staff immediately tried to save the floor by using fans and dehumidifiers, Lozo said.

"We're hopeful in thinking that we saved some of [the court]," Lozo said.

At first, they watched to see whether the court would dry, Tomlin said.

"But, a few days later, there were humps in the floor," Tomlin said. "It was noticeable that there was definite water damage."

Although the Weinstein Center has three basketball courts, the water damage affected only half of court one, which was replaced.

Lozo said replacing part of the maple court and refinishing the whole floor had cost about $60,000.

John Sheffield, director for safety services and risk management, said that campus-wide insurance had covered the accident, but the university had been responsible for paying about a $25,000 deductible. This deductible comes from a budgeted fund the university has for self-paid claims, Sheffield said.

Lozo said the replacement floor was the same as the one that had been destroyed and, if it was taken care of and refinished, could last 20 to 30 years.

The work was completed on Thursday, Oct. 14, and court one was reopened.

Because of the specialized nature of the work, the university had to hire contractors to do the job. The same contracting company that originally installed the floor, Royalwood Associates, Inc., based out of North Carolina, replaced and refinished the floor. Lozo said three workers had done the demolition and installed the new part of the floor, and three other workers had done the refinishing.

Tomlin said they had tried to get it fixed as quickly as possible and with the least impact on students. The work that caused a bad odor was done during fall break, she said.

Different sprinkler head guards were installed in the Weinstein Center gym the week of Oct. 11. These sprinkler head guards were made specifically to fit the sprinklers in the gym, Lozo said.

"But in the winter, it's packed in here so we're glad we just got it fixed and now have a permanent solution to prevent it from happening again," Tomlin said.

Contact staff writer Michelle Guerrere at michelle.guerrere@richmond.edu