Flood delays Queen’s Centre opening

Food court, pool and club space may open in November, Vice-Principal (Operations and Finance) says

The $250,000 gym floor, pictured in July, was damaged by a flood on Aug. 11.
The $250,000 gym floor, pictured in July, was damaged by a flood on Aug. 11.

Water damage from a rainstorm last month will delay the Queen’s Centre opening until late fall, acting Vice-Principal (Operations and Finance) Bill Bryck said.

A severe thunderstorm on Aug. 11 flooded the new gym’s floor, which had been installed about two weeks earlier. There was also electrical damage to the building, which had had power for a week and a half before the flood.

The removable cap on one of the drainage pipes on the building’s roof gave way, causing water to flow into the building, Bryck said.

“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. “In a normal rainstorm nothing would have happened.”

Other campus facilities including Mackintosh-Corry and Chernoff halls also experienced some flooding, Bryck said.

The costs in damage are covered by insurance, he said. The gym floor costs about $250,000.

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

The centre was slated to open by late September but will now be delayed until much later in the fall, Bryck said.

The University has ordered a new gym floor and electrical equipment. The equipment will take about four weeks to arrive, he said.

“The parts haven’t arrived yet and then it takes about a week after they get the parts in to get the construction crew back,” he said, adding that it will take another month for them to finish the work.

“I think we’re now looking toward the end of November,” he said. “They haven’t actually decided so we’re really sort of speculating.” Bryck said the electrical damage affects the space occupied by the pool, the Common Ground coffeehouse, club space and the food court.

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

Bryck said the November opening doesn’t include the main gym, which will take longer to repair.

“The main gym probably won’t be available until, I would think, sometime in December,” he said. “They have to build a new floor and then transport it and install it.”

The floor is being made by a Toronto-based company that specializes in flooring.

The delay is a disappointment to the groups that were set to move into the new facilities, AMS Vice-President (Operations) Leslie Yun said.

“What’s going into the new facilities is Common Ground and the club spaces so it’s really unfortunate what happened,” she said. “Obviously it was something that was entirely out of our control.”

Yun said Common Ground, as well as other services and clubs slated to move, will stay in the JDUC until the new facilities are ready.

“We’re currently working with the University to kind of figure out how we can coordinate our plans given the new situation,” she said. “We’re really active on that front and we’re really excited for the new facilities to open whenever they do.”

—With files from Michael Woods

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