The climbing wall in the recreation center at Sam Houston State University Huntsville TX sustained heavy damage when flooding from rainwater caused part of the wall to give way Sam Houston State University

The climbing wall in the recreation center at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, sustained heavy damage when flooding from rainwater caused part of the wall to give way. (Sam Houston State University)

Water Damage Closes Large Sections of Recreation Center at Sam Houston State University

Wall collapse and storm waters caused significant flooding inside the Huntsville, TX, facility.

Extensive water damage brought on by heavy storms has forced Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, to close sections of its campus recreation center.

The damage to the Recreational Sports Center occurred April 16 when heavy rains brought about flooding on the campus. Melissa Fadler, associate director of marketing for the recreation center, says the facility sits on the middle of a hill, and the storm water surrounded the facility "like an island in a river." The water accumulated to a height of about 5 feet in an alcove adjacent to the climbing wall, and the mounting pressure led to the collapse of the glass-and-brick wall at the center near the climbing wall.

Floodwaters surged into the building, and several areas sustained structural or water damage. While cleanup and damage assessment continues, the center's weight room, cardio space, swimming pool, and climbing center will be closed, Fadler says. Officials estimate that the facility sustained damages of between $1 million and $2 million. Those costs will be covered by insurance.

With only about two weeks left in Sam Houston's current semester, the recreation center will not be able to reopen this school year. Officials could not say how long repairs would take.

The older part of the building, which houses the Health and Kinesiology departments, did not sustain significant damage. Fadler says those areas--basketball courts, the health and kinesiology weight room, an elevated track, and racquetball courts--remain open. While the recreation center space is unavailable, some fitness and recreation activities will be held in those areas.

Video: The Houstonian, the student newspaper at Sam Houston State, posted this YouTube video of the damage to the recreation center.

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