Spiritual Center’s floor buckles after just eight months of use

Structural problems in the Spiritual Center completed last December were discovered this summer, adding to the lengthening list of construction woes for the College.

Part of the floor in the facility buckled after just eight months of use, according to Brian Murray, director of Campus Planning and Construction.

“We’re trying to figure out what caused it,” Murray said. “So what we simply did was where it buckled up, we cut it so it leveled and we ran a carpet runner. So now what we’ll do is figure out what caused that.”

Despite the problem, the College found a fix that allowed the Spiritual Center to remain in operation.

“The floors had bubbles in them so they covered up most of the wood floors with carpet,” Andrew Croft, president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, said. “In one spot if you lift the carpet you can see three cracks in the wood in the shape of an incomplete rectangle where they gutted out some of the mass beneath that spot in the floor.”

Croft said he also noticed a moldy smell in one of the closets of the center.

Murray said he has contacted the contractor to take a look at the problem and figure out the cause of the buckling, but that the facility is stable and safe for student use.

Ann DeGennaro, director of Campus Wellness, said she is glad the Spiritual Center will remain open despite its structural problems.

Many students, however, feared the building would be shut down as a result, and it did not take long for these fears to turn into rumors that many believed.

Last week, it was circulated that damage was caused by water leakage and that the building would be shut down completely.

“I guess this kind of rumor would be going around because leaks seem to be the things that affect most of our newly constructed buildings like the Science Complex,” Melanie Kaufer, president of the Jewish Student Union (JSU), said.

Many of the recent building projects on campus have been plagued with construction problems.

The College is in litigation with the company that built the new Science Complex and the Metzger Drive Apartments, which experienced extensive water damage during their construction.

“(These problems) are not the school’s fault,” Mike Oropallo, senior biology major said. “They hire and trust a construction company and they obviously don’t want this to happen. But it’s frustrating because all of these construction problems are directly affecting us because now (the construction workers) are going to have to be here longer, doing more work while we are trying to take classes and enjoy the campus.” The 4,000 square-foot Spiritual Center opened in December 2004 to replace the old Alumni Chapel, which was demolished to allow space for the construction of the New Library.