Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Yates Field House Closed Due to Flooding

Georgetown University’s on-campus recreation center Yates Field House closed for 24 hours Sept. 13 after water flooded a portion of the facility during the evening of Sept. 12.

According to Executive Director of Recreation Susan Sell-Haynes, a broken gasket in the filter pool room pumped two to three inches of water into the basketball courts and some downstairs offices. The building reopened at 6 a.m. Sept. 14.

Sell said the water did not reach the fitness floor or any other equipment, although the baseboards of the offices, which host Yates staff, require repairs. University staff have not yet identified any damage to the basketball courts.

“I think we still need an assessment from the restoration facilities to look at if there is an impact to our basketball floor. Other than that, I don’t see a long term issue,” Sell said. 

The downstairs offices, which include the student break room, are expected to be closed for one to two months.

A university spokesperson said the university prioritized safety in cleaning up Yates after the flooding.

“Team members cleaned up water in impacted spaces. Facilities staff worked to clean items that were impacted and return the spaces to the best state possible,” the spokesperson said. 

“Georgetown University strives to provide safe and comfortable spaces for all students living on campus,” the spokesperson added.

Georgetown University | After water flooded a portion of the facility, Georgetown University’s on-campus recreation center Yates Field House closed for 24 hours Sept. 13.

Yates has experienced flooding in the past, most often due to rainwater. Kehoe Field, located on Yates’ roof, and the Yates building itself experienced frequent drainage problems from structural issues with its roof until Kehoe Field was renovated in 2019. Heavy summer rain flooded the Yates lobby in 2012, while rainfall on Kehoe overflowed into Yates in 2018.

Georgetown’s Department of Planning and Facilities and Management coordinated the cleanup efforts. Along with employees from a restoration-oriented contracting agency, PBI Commercial Construction, custodial staff removed the water with fans and heaters, with work beginning almost immediately after the flood started on the night of Sept. 12.

Sell said facilities’ quick response allowed Campus Recreation to reopen Yates within 24 hours.

“It was actually really remarkable. They just flew in to save the day,” Sell said. “Facilities stepped in, and helped us get it cleaned up as quickly as possible.”

The building was deemed safe to reopen after a walk-through Sept. 14, when crews assessed the electrical systems and other utilities.

The flooding has forced Yates staff previously working in the downstairs offices to relocate to the building’s upper floor. Campus Recreation Assistant Director for Marketing and Strategic Engagement Christopher Baunoch said he has enjoyed interacting with more students and coworkers.

“I work at the Pro Shop with some students or up here with more staff and just kind of have more interactions. So yes, inconvenient for sure, but certainly fun,” Baunoch said. 

The gym’s closure also affected club sports, especially teams using the gym to host tryouts. 

Kavi Pandya (CAS ’27) had her second round of club basketball tryouts set for Sept. 13. However, because of the flooding, they were pushed back almost a week.

“It definitely made the tryout process longer than we all expected,” Pandya wrote to The Hoya. “It was disappointing because I had to wait a lot longer to figure out if I made the team.”

Sell said that throughout the cleanup, Campus Recreation aimed to minimize disruption to students while also ensuring the facilities were safe for student use.

“I think we were very sensitive about the impact for students,” Sell said. “We had to make a game-time decision about what is safe, what is right for the facility and what is right for the community.”

Note: this article was edited Sept. 22 to correct an error in source attribution.

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