Shepherd gym damage alters ball schedules

December 29, 1999|By BOB PARASILITI

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - A broken pipe fitting that flooded the gym floor at Shepherd College's Butcher Athletic Center has forced the school to change the site of two events and more are in question, a college spokesman said Wednesday.

Water leaking from a sprinkler system that flooded the gym floor at the Butcher Athletic Center on Monday caused more damage late Tuesday or early Wednesday, forcing the athletic department to cancel a high school basketball tournament and change the site of a women's college game.

It also has jeopardized future playing dates on the Rams' schedule.

Shepherd sports information director Chip Ransom said the water had soaked into the foam reinforcement under the floor and caused more buckling in the wooden surface.

Because of the damage, Shepherd's women's game with Shenandoah University became a road game at the Winchester, Va., campus on Wednesday.


Ransom said more Shepherd events could possibly be moved or postponed until the floor is dried and the damage repaired. The Rams' next home game is on Jan. 6 when the women's team is scheduled to meet Davis & Elkins.

The damaged floor forced the finals of the City National Bank Holiday Shootout, a tournament involving the boys and girls teams from four area high schools, to be moved to Martinsburg High today. All eight games were originally scheduled to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday at Shepherd.

The tournament was postponed a day, with hopes that Shepherd's floor problem could be temporarily repaired. Shepherd officials had made arrangements Tuesday night, scheduling today's games for the Butcher Center, but the overnight damage forced the second cancellation.

Ransom said the playing surface itself was not damaged by the water. Instead the floor was buckling in the area where bleachers for visiting fans would be placed.

Shepherd's playing surface has the foam under the wood to provide spring to save wear on players' knees. The water had soaked into the foam, keeping the underside of the floor wet.

The facility has been used by the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association for their last four preseason training camps.

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