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Sprinklers douse, damage Ohio State RPAC racquetball courts

February 27, 2014

hami.2@osu.edu
Court damage resulted from a sprinkler going off at the RPAC. A ball from a racquetball game hit the protective cover on a sprinkler head, causing it to go off and the RPAC to be evacuated Feb. 25. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editor

Court damage resulted from a sprinkler going off at the RPAC. A ball from a racquetball game hit the protective cover on a sprinkler head, causing it to go off and the RPAC to be evacuated Feb. 25.
Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editor

Court damage from an RPAC sprinkler might have been the result of a swing and a miss.

Just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, the RPAC was evacuated when the fire alarm went off.

Dave Isaacs, Student Life spokesman, said the alarm was the result of a racquetball game.

“We confirmed it was a ball. A protective cover that normally protects those heads was missing. It was replaced along with a couple others,” he said in an email Wednesday.

Isaacs, though, complimented the RPAC staff for their work.

“Due to the quick work of our staff in the RPAC, the water was contained and cleaned up very quickly and I think our overall damage will likely be minimal,” Isaacs said in an email Wednesday.

Eric Thompson, a fourth-year in marketing, was near the racquetball courts when the incident occurred.

“I’m taking handball class and we’re on the third floor. Class had just ended but we were staying a little extra (late) and I turned around and looked at the court diagonal to me. I saw water dripping down the glass,” Thompson said. “I saw this kid standing outside the room saying, ‘Oh jeez, oh jeez.’ I asked him if he hit the sprinkler and he said he did and about 7 seconds later, the alarms went off.”

Isaacs said all areas affected by the water except some racquetball courts have reopened.

“Two courts are still closed and we probably won’t know the extent of that damage for a couple more days. Everything else, including the other eight racquetball courts, is back in use,” he said.

Isaacs said he didn’t have any cost information or estimated time frame for the repairs yet.

The incident was not the first time a water-related incident forced repairs this school year: two of the four basketball courts in the lower Tom W. Davis Special Events Gym were roped off sometime around Thanksgiving through this month because a broken air handler spilled hot water on the courts. Those repairs cost about $70,000, though senior associate director of facilities for OSU recreational sports Dave DeAngelo said the facility would only have to pay a $25,000 deductible if an insurance claim went through.

Prior to that, in Spring Semester 2013, a sprinkler head went off during an intramural basketball game that necessitated repairs to Court 4, the same northernmost court in the lower gym. At the time, DeAngelo said the RPAC would likely use a $25,000 insurance deductible to pay for it.

 

Dan Hessler contributed to this story.


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