The Oread side of the David A. Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center, 1740 Watkins Center Drive, remained closed Monday morning as staff tried to assess damage caused by a fire sprinkler head that was broken Saturday afternoon.
Mary Chappell, director of the rec center, said the main concern is moisture on the hardwood courts. The section of the center damaged also includes a martial arts studio, indoor track and golf simulator.
Crews worked through the weekend using dehumidifiers to reduce moisture, she said.
The fire sprinkler was broken about 3:30 p.m. Saturday when a ball hit it, sounding the fire alarm, Chappell said. The entire building was evacuated and closed for several hours.
The sprinkler was repaired, but the affected portion of the center will remain closed while the damage is assessed, Chappell said. However, no timeline has been set for when the Oread side will re-open, or how much damage the incident caused.
While the rest of the rec center is open for use, Chappell said “it’s unfortunate that it’s (happening) at the beginning of the school year.”
During the repairs, the main objective will be to “make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Chappell said.
In late June, the rec center also incurred water damage after heavy rain caused flooding in the lower level of the rec center. In that case, the damage was mostly confined to flooring in the rock-climibing area. Construction on KU’s nearby steam tunnels contributed to the flooding, allowing more water to accumulate.