In early September, the Hollinger Field House and portions of the adjacent Ehinger Gymnasium were flooded due to a pipe burst. This pipe runs under Hollinger Field House and connects to WCU’s geo-thermal system. For five hours, water rushed out and lifted the wooden flooring.
“All of the wires under the floor were burnt out and everything on the bottom floor was basically destroyed,” said WCU Women’s Volleyball team member, Alex Gleason. Women’s volleyball is the fall sport and is currently in the middle of their season. The flood in Hollinger affected this team substantially.
The WCU Women’s Volleyball team had to move all team functions down to South Campus. They previously used the Hollinger facilities to train, but now they are competing on a recently installed sport court. Down on South Campus in the Sturzebecker Health Science Center, there is a large gym comprised of four basketball courts and other sport accommodations. For home games, they have been accommodated with bleachers to continue to gain attendance from fans.
The Student Recreation Center has also seen a portion of the shake-up from the flooding.
“The biggest impact the flood has had on us is cutting down public use of our two basketball courts to one for the past two weeks,” said Max Stutman, Graduate Assistant at Campus Recreation in Facilities and Management. “The volleyball team came to the Rec Center to practice and patrons have only been able to use one basketball court during their time practicing.”
Other groups of students impacted by the flooding and closing of Hollinger were student groups with scheduled events there this September, including the Black and Latino Greek Council (BLGC). The BLGC holds their annual “Meet the Greeks” event in Hollinger to introduce the campus to their respective organizations with step performances.
A student in an organization within the BLGC, who wishes to remain anonymous, was seemingly unsatisfied with how things were handled. “Everyone that was affected by the flood in the gym were not compensated properly or fairly for the events that had to be cancelled,” they said. “It affected everyone that participated because the plans were not properly discussed with steppers to perform in a proper amount of time to appropriately fix the issues and move the event to another location.”
With more signature events, and the much anticipated upcoming season for Golden Ram’s Men and Women’s Basketball which are all normally being held in Hollinger Field House, WCU officials are pushing for quick repairs and a return for all anticipated events to Hollinger.
“The flooding that happened in Hollinger is unfortunate,” said Vice President of Student Affairs, Zebulun Davenport. “However, we do have individuals on campus who are working to mitigate the damages. The goal is to have the court ready for basketball season and most certainly for fall commencement.”
Sunny Morgan is a third-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at SM848270@wcupa.edu or on Twitter @SunnyMorgan97.