Queen’s Centre opening delayed by flood

Damage to electrical system and gym floor pushes facility’s opening to late fall

Flooding in the Queen’s Centre has delayed the new facility’s opening date until late fall, acting Vice-Principal (Operations and Finance) Bill Bryck said.

A rainstorm on Aug. 11 flooded the new gym floor, which had been installed about two weeks earlier. There was also electrical damage in the building that houses the pool, new Common Ground and food court. The building had power for a week and a half before the damage.

The drains on the roof of the building lead down to a central drain, which runs into a storm sewer, Bryck said. He said one of the removable caps on the drainage pipes gave way, causing water to flow into the building.

“The pressure was so intense that the water basically blew the cap off and continued to drain into the storm sewer but also started to flow out into the building,” he said. “The pressure was so intense. In a normal rainstorm nothing would have happened.”

Bryck said he doesn’t know why the cap burst off the drainage pipe.

“Typically what happens is if the water can’t drain down, it backs up onto the roof and as the rain stops the water continues to drain down—that’s the way they’re designed.” He said. “In this case, the [cap] just gave way and water started to flow into the building.”

Mackintosh-Corry Hall and Chernoff Hall also experienced some flooding, Bryck added.

Bryck didn’t name the cost of the damage, but said it’s all covered by insurance.

“The unfortunate part is not the money—it’s the time,” he said.

The flood is the latest setback in a project plagued by cost overruns, delays and controversy.

Bryck said he isn’t sure when the new gym floor will be ready.

“The electrical equipment has been ordered,” he said. “They’re expecting a four-week delivery, and it was ordered two weeks ago.

“They were just starting the testing of all the electrical equipment and that’s about a month process,” he said.

Bryck said he’s frustrated that the student centre won’t be open for at least a couple of months.

“It’s just very disappointing.”

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