Roanoke College’s Cregger Center will not play basketball this season due to a ruptured pipe.
A burst pipe caused damage to the Cregger Center court. For the remainder of the season, Roanoke College’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will play at their former gym — the Bast Center.
Roanoke College athletic director Scott Allison said the cost of repairing the court has not yet been determined.
“It will certainly not be cheap,” he said in a telephone interview. “We are still in the process of setting a date for the repair.”
He said a pipe in a storage area behind the Cregger Center bleachers ruptured during the chilly Christmas weekend.
“A lot of pipes ruptured in Southwest Virginia this weekend,” Allison said.
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But initially no games were affected.
“We found the leak and cleaned everything up,” Allison said. “We thought we had dodged a bullet.”
The men’s basketball team was able to hold its Cregger Invitational December 29-30 at the Cregger Center and a home game against Eastern Mennonite on January 4th. The women’s basketball team was able to hold its Susan Dunagan Holiday Classic on December 29-30 at the Cregger Center and home games on January 2-4.
But last week, a buckling was noticed in the inbound area of an end line (which is behind the basket). The bend hadn’t been there before, but water had seeped under the west end of the floor.
“[It is] just one area of the court, but enough to play basketball,” Allison said.
As a result, the home doubles header for the men’s and women’s basketball teams was moved to the Bast Center last Saturday.
The college undertook some drying measures in hopes that no other games would have to be moved, but that didn’t turn out to be the case.
“We had a few companies here that helped us dry it out,” Allison said. “We ran air through the soil and tried to dry out any water that might have been there. It’s been a farmer’s effort and I think we’ve made some progress, but right now the progress isn’t quite enough to get him completely dry of those swellings… to come back down.”
The college announced on Wednesday that the remaining men’s and women’s basketball home games would be played at the Bast Center. So that’s where the women’s basketball team lost to Guilford on Wednesday night.
Five more men’s games and four more women’s games are affected.
The men’s and women’s basketball teams had relocated from the Bast Center to the $34 million Cregger Center when the new building opened in the summer of 2016.
Luckily for the Maroons, the 2,000-seat Bast Center remained part of campus and may become the teams’ home for the remainder of the season.
“This is certainly an unfortunate situation. We feel with our children. At the same time, we feel pretty good and somewhat blessed to have the Bast Center,” Allison said. “It’s still in pretty good shape.”
The first Saturday home game of the college’s new men’s volleyball team will also be moved to the Bast Center.
After Saturday, the men’s volleyball team does not have another home game until March 21. It remains to be seen whether further volleyball games will have to be postponed.
The wrestling team also uses the Cregger Center for their home games, but this roster was unaffected as they don’t use the entire space.
“You don’t have to use the whole area,” Allison said. “We’re going to protect that area to make sure people are careful where they’re going, but the mat doesn’t reach that far. We can limit the activity to that.”
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