By Mallory Sherwood, Managing Editor
The ACU bubble became a reality last week in Moody Coliseum, causing Chapel to move to Cullen Auditorium since Friday.
Bob Nevill, director of Physical Resources said in an e-mail the Physical Resources staff has been working to remove moisture from the wood gym floor since Friday morning by using giant sheets of plastic taped together and running fans and dehumidifiers to collect the water that collected under the floor causing it to warp and buckle.
Nevill said that the purpose of the bubble is to “provide a very controlled atmosphere of very dry air that will aid in wicking the moisture from the wood in the floor.”
As of Tuesday, Chapel had been moved into Cullen Auditorium to provide students the opportunity to worship as usual. Attendance was voluntary though, and all students required to regularly attend Chapel received attendance credit for Friday, Monday and Tuesday.
Nevill said the dehumidifying process should take three to 10 days, if it continues as planned, so the Physical Resources staff, along with a contractor and the company that originally installed the floor in 1994, all worked together throughout the weekend to fix the flooring problem quickly.
Dr. Wayne Barnard, dean of Campus Life, said that the process worked well over the weekend, and the machines collected more than 150 gallons of water, although more is left to be finished.
Barnard said the good news is that the floor is lying back down, and Chapel should resume as normal in Moody no later than Friday, but he said he hopes to be back in Moody by Wednesday.
Nevill and Barnard agreed that if the floor does not lie back down as needed, they will have to either replace the floor or find a more permanent fix. For athletic purposes though, the renailing of the floor once it completely dries should work.
More importantly than fixing the problem is discovering what caused the floor to warp in the first place, Nevill said.
Barnard said that the moisture could have been caused from the floor being sealed this summer or from the cleaned air coils, resulting in more airflow and moisture throughout Moody from the cooler air.
“The most significant question right now is figuring out what caused the moisture,” Barnard said. “We can nail it down for now, but soon that won’t be enough, and we’ll have to do this again.”
Chapel isn’t the only thing affected by the flooring problem though.
“The true cost of an event like this is the loss of the use of the facility to Chapel and to athletics,” Nevill said.
Athletic teams also cannot use the floor until it is fixed, so Physical Resources is working hard to complete it by the time the volleyball tournament begins in Moody. For now teams are practicing in Bennett Gymnasium and in the double gyms in Gibson Health and P.E. center.
Barnard said that Chapel has only been cancelled a few times since he has been here. He said it had been cancelled because of a snow day and because of a bat problem in Moody several years ago.
Students have not had a negative reaction to the location of Chapel, Barnard said, but he said he still wants Chapel back to normal to build the community feeling lost from not having Chapel for the past few days.
“I sense that we have lost some momentum that we had built in Moody,” Barnard said. “There is a psychology that happens in that atmosphere, and by not being all together in several days attitudes have changed.”
Last Friday, about 650 students and faculty attended the voluntary Chapel in Cullen and about 400 attended on Monday whereas nearly 2,800 normally attend in Moody.
Barnard said Chapel planners are delaying the Chapel speakers discussing the year’s theme a week and that Steven Moore, assistant professor of English will lead a praise day for Chapel on Friday.
Students can look for credit to appear on my.ACU by the end of the week, Barnard said.