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HPER Cleanup Could Include New Floor; Cost Still Unclear

Cleanup at Indiana University’s Health, Physical Education and Recreation building is touch-and-go following a fire there last week.

A row of burnt slats on the roof of the Wildermuth gym only tells part of the story of last week’s fire.  Where there was standing water on the ten basketball courts, there now is a translucent tarp which IU Director of Risk Management Larry Stephens said masks what may be a costly problem to fix.

“We have dehumidifiers in there and they’re blowing air under and across the floor and collecting the water in tubs to get it out of the building,” he said.  “How long this will take we’re not sure.  Originally the estimate was seven to 10 days, we’ve now heard it might be as much as 20 days.”

But if the water damage proves too severe and the blowers ineffective, Stephens said a new hardwood floor may have to be installed, at great cost.

“We don’t have that estimate yet but again, in my experience, it would be several hundred thousand dollars to replace it,” he said.

Stephens said several separate insurance policies will help pay for the cleanup, but it’s likely the total cost of the damage cannot be tallied for at least a couple more weeks.  Meanwhile, the construction on the roof — which is believed to have started the fire — continues.  Stephens said he believes it will still be complete before fall semester begins.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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