A month later, basement ‘99.9 percent’ repaired

It’s Thursday afternoon in the Phyllis P. Marshall Center basement. Every pool table is in use, groups of students are playing cards and some are reading on the couches. One is playing an arcade game. A WBUL sports talk show is blaring through the speakers.

It’s loud and crowded.

It’s been about a month since a construction worker caused a freak flood that drenched the basement, and everything seems to be back to normal.

“We’re back to chaotic usage,” Marshall Center Assistant Director Joe Synovec said. “As soon as we opened back up, it was up to full speed.”

Synovec said the basement is “99.9 percent” back to normal and was mostly functional a week after the flood. In fact, a poetry slam was hosted in the basement just eight days later.

The basement, including offices and the student-run WBUL radio station, closed for a week following the flood while workers cleaned up.

WBUL received new carpets, and Greek Life and Volunteer USF offices, which had to relocate after the flood, are back home.

Synovec said, aside from the first week, the repairs were small.

“The average student probably didn’t notice anything,” he said. “It was all minor stuff.”

That minor stuff included base molding and repairing a 4-foot high hole in a wall.

“We’re open with no ill effects,” Synovec said.

Sophomore pre-med student Joey Gerolmo, who said he shoots pool “seven days a week” in the basement, was happy things are back to normal.

“I guess you could say it’s even better than it was,” Gerolmo said in between games of pool Thursday. “Because now we have a TV remote.”

Sophomore architecture major Adrian Macatangay said Thursday was his first trip to the basement since the flood.

“When I heard about the flood, I just didn’t come for a while,” he said. “But everything seems to be back to normal.”

The flood, which occurred on Sept. 11, was caused when a construction worker who was working on the demolition of the Special Events Center accidentally punctured a water main. Water flowed into the basement for about 45 minutes, leaving more than two feet of standing water.

The basement lost one pool table. Aside from that, nothing major was lost.

Beck, the construction company for which the man worked, paid to fix and repair the damages.

“It didn’t cost the University a penny,” Synovec said.