Efforts ongoing to save Huron Arena floor

Photos courtesy Ben Halbkat A water line break in the west balcony at Huron Arena last week caused flooding throughout the facility. Water mitigation experts hooked up two industrial blowers to force air beneath the floor in an effort to dry the subsurface and save the floor. The photo below shows industrial vacuums pulling the forced air and moisture from the floor on the west side of the arena.

HURON — The basketball court at Huron Arena received damage after a water line broke on the west balcony above the restrooms and offices this week, necessitating moving all games from the facility for at least the next two weeks.

Today’s girls’ basketball game against Sioux Falls Roosevelt has been moved to James Valley Christian High School. The game will not be live streamed, but will broadcast on a Huron radio station. The boys’ basketball game at SFR will be broadcast on the other station.

There will be no concessions at JVCS, although outside food and drink can be brought in. Teams are asked to bring their own water bottles

Masks are required for players at all times unless warming up or playing. Spectators are required to wear a mask and social distance.

Superintendent Terry Nebelsick reported that security cameras revealed the water line break around 11 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23. When the building was checked the next morning, Christmas Eve, around 10 a.m., water was found running down the staircases onto the lobby floors. The balcony floor on the west side had minor water damage to the bottom of the walls, to carpets and to ceiling tiles.

John Halbkat, Director of Buildings and Grounds, and Business Manager Kelly Christopherson, worked all day on both Dec. 24 and Dec. 26 to get the arena back in shape. Terry Rotert, activities director, joined athletic staff to pull the wrestling mats out of storage and they were able to dry them without apparent damage.

Water mitigation experts were called in after water was discovered in the arena floor electric boxes that create the connections from the score tables to the scoreboards, which meant water was on the concrete surface under the playing floor.

Although the floor was able to be used for the holiday classic this past week, they now have experts on site to help save the playing surface and get the subsurface dried out.

Air is being forced under the floor from the volleyball standard holes mid-floor, and are being vacuumed out of the western edge of the floor.

The playing surface itself is dry, and the concrete floor that it sits on is dry. However, the wooden frame that supports the playing surface soaked up water and began swelling. The weight of the bleachers on the west side appears to be holding the floor in place, thus improving the odds that it can be saved.

Water mitigation experts believe they will be able to dry the substructure out in the next 10 to 12 days, meaning all activities scheduled in Huron Arena had to be moved.

“Thank you to James Valley School for allowing us to use their beautiful facility for the girls’ game this Saturday,” Nebelsick said. “We’ll wait until midweek to determine what we do with the Mitchell Double Header scheduled for Jan. 9.

“I am grateful to the staff who have worked tirelessly to keep the arena open and save the facility from further damage,” he added.

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