Richie Regan athletic center suffers damage in hurricane

The Richie Regan Athletic Center suffered minor damage when Hurricane Irene tore up the rest of the state.

The Visciglia Room, primarily used as an alternative fitness and dance room, had the worst damage in the building.

“We try to foresee things like that taking place, but obviously something like that we didn’t expect to happen,” Kevin Sponza, associate athletic director of facilities and operations, said. “The parking deck over flowed underneath and ran into the building and flooded some areas. Because of the water getting underneath the wood floor, anytime water gets underneath wood floor it starts to buckle.”

Aside from the buckled wood floor, there was also an increased amount of air pressure in the room.

Sponza expects the Visciglia Room to remain closed for a few more weeks as administrators determine what the best option to fix the damage is.

“We have some quotes out there for a company to come in and rip it out and reinstall,” he said. “I’m hopeful that in the next couple of weeks we will have a new floor.”

The Arthur E. Imperattore Natatorium also experienced a setback in routine summer maintenance due to the hurricane.

The pool was scheduled to reopen on September 1 following a bi-annual drainage to check for caulking issues.

“The original plan for the maintenance was to be done by September 1, but we had to add another week to that,” Sponza said.

When the pool was drained, there was more caulking that needed to be performed than expected. This took longer than expected.

“When we drained it, there was some maintenance issues, some caulking that we had to do that we were unaware of,” Sponza said. “Obviously, we can’t see it until the water starts receding, so we had to address those. We generally do that maintenance every two years, sometimes every three years.”

When facilities went to refill the pool following Hurricane Irene, they realized there was water already in the bottom of the pool.

“Coming back in, the water that came into the pool we are not sure exactly if it was destruction from Irene or whether it was just normal water coming in, but it took us a little bit longer to balance the water from a chemical stand point,” Sponza said. Though the water is chemically balanced, the pool will not reopen until Saturday due to a previously scheduled event.

Tim LeCras can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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