Storm floods college

Much of the Social Sciences Center, Wellness Center and the Aquatics Center were shut down July 7 after about 2.5 inches of rain the evening before led to partial flooding of the college.

The college reopened July 7 with students and faculty being moved into other campus buildings. The weight room reopened July 8 but the Social Sciences Center and pool remained closed at presstime.


J.B. Messer, Facilities Management director, said the college was on top of the situation.

Facilities Management used fans to dry the wet carpets and air out classrooms.

“It’s just the normal roof leaks,” Messer said. “We’ve combated all immediate needs.”

Social Sciences Dean Susan Tabor said the flooding, which stranded cars in the parking lot, covered first floor areas with 1 inch of water after seeping through the ceiling and under the doors of her center.

“The Aquatic Center has this steep pitch. And where the pitch and the flat roof come together, the water just builds up and comes through the roof and down the walls,” Tabor said.

While this isn’t the first time flooding has shut down areas on campus, Tabor said, the flooding has never been this bad.

In the Wellness Center, the gym, aerobics and spinning rooms, and locker rooms were unaffected, said Eric Watson, OCCC Sports and Recreation specialist.

However, the weight room had to be closed, Watson said.

He said none of the equipment in the weight room was damaged, but many of the ceiling tiles will need to be replaced.

The pool also was closed July 7 due to sanitation and hazard issues, Messer said.

“The big thing about the Aquatic Center is it’s a public bathing area,” he said. “So you have certain sanitation type conditions that have to be maintained,” he said.

Messer said the pool deck had up to 4 inches of standing water, which created a safety hazard.

“Getting the patrons out of the center was a top priority,” Messer said.

“The Recreation and Fitness Center was very proactive about being in control of that situation.”

Charles Tarver, sports assistant, said water was leaking into the Aquatic Center either through the drains or through Entry 10.

“When I left last night, water was already coming up out of the drain,” Tarver said.

Recreation and Fitness will hold the children’s swimming activities in the gym for now, Tarver said.

Students arriving on campus seemed unaware their classes had been moved.

Jonathan Prewitt, business major, said he didn’t know about the flooding until he showed up for class.

“I talked to Tabor and she told me my class was being relocated,” Prewitt said.

“It doesn’t inconvenience me too much.”

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