Despite being flooded on Tuesday due to a water-main break north of campus, UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion will be ready when basketball season starts in November.
“When we saw the flood going down onto the court, it certainly was of concern to us,” athletic director Dan Guerrero said Wednesday. “After getting the water off yesterday and bringing the experts in, we’ve been assured today that we’ll be able to play in Pauley this year.”
He added that the building is structurally sound, though it was still too early to assess the costs of repairing the damage. Nearly all of the basketball court hardwood appeared to be warped to some degree; Guerrero said that if it needs to be replaced, the campus will have time to do it by basketball season. However, the Bruins may need to practice in either the Wooden Center or Student Athletic Center.
Guerrero also did not elaborate on any potential contingency plans for playing elsewhere should the repairs be slower than expected. “We don’t see that as an option,” he said.
The men’s basketball team starts its season on Nov. 14, while the women’s team plays its first official home game on Nov. 23. The volleyball teams were slated to play most of their games in the Wooden Center.
Acosta Athletic Complex and Bud Knapp Football Center sustained only “minimal damage.” Guerrero said football offices and locker rooms should be ready by the time the Bruins return from their two-week training camp in San Bernardino, which starts on Aug. 4.
Drake Stadium — site of some of the most dramatic flood images on Tuesday — was covered with some silt as of early Wednesday afternoon, but was used by runners even that morning.
Asked if insurance would cover the cost of repairs, Guerrero said, “We have good risk management folks.” He added that he hoped — and believed — that the athletic department would not have to foot the bill.
Chancellor Gene Block took a similar tone. Asked if the city or the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power would pay for damages to the campus, he told reporters, “That is certainly who is responsible. We are sort of victims here.”
UCLA's locker room in Pauley Pavilion. Several large fans being used to dry it out. pic.twitter.com/yleBaTCR1T
— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) July 30, 2014