ISU athletic department begins flood recovery


The wooden court in Hilton Coliseum floats on the surface of approximately 10 feet of floodwaters Thursday. Crews are pumping water out of the building and are still unable to access some of the lower areas such the locker rooms.

Jake Lovett

The wooden floor inside Hilton Coliseum floated on top of an estimated 12 feet of water Wednesday.

Thanks to crews pumping water out of the building since 9 a.m. Thursday, the water level was estimated to be down to 10 feet by Thursday afternoon.

ISU associate athletic director Nick Britton said the athletic department will work to remove all of the water from the building before assessing the damage further.

“We’ve got to get all this water out and then assess the situation and get everybody in here that we need to help us do that,” Britton said.

Britton said the timetable surrounding water removal depended on a number of things, including whether the water level comes up again with the predicted rainfall Friday. He also said the crews may employ the use of more pumps later in the removal process.

The flooding not only has caused damage in Hilton, but has completely flooded the ISU Soccer Complex, forcing both the volleyball and soccer squads to find other locations to prepare for their upcoming seasons.

Steve Malchow, senior associate athletic director for communications, said the ISU volleyball team has been conducting practice at West Towne Courts and the soccer team is considering moving practice to some outdoor fields near Ankeny. In the meantime, both the soccer and football teams have moved some practices to the Bergstrom Indoor Facility.

The water inside the coliseum has left the Cyclones’ first volleyball match, the Cardinal vs. Gold scrimmage on Aug. 21, in doubt. However, following the scrimmage, the Cyclones’ first regular season match at home is not until Sept. 3.

Meanwhile, the ISU soccer team has a match scheduled Aug. 20, but due to the condition of the field the game likely will have to be moved. Malchow dismissed Jack Trice Stadium as an option for the soccer match, saying “football tears it up anyway.”

“We’re looking at all of our options right now, but the immediate thing is trying to take care of all of their practices,” Malchow said.

Going forward, no timetables have been laid out for repairs to Hilton Coliseum or any other damaged facilities.

Right now, the extent of damages are not even known as the lower levels of the arena are still underwater.

“It’s a little frustrating because we still don’t know what we’re up against,” Malchow said. “It’s this week’s challenge. It’s a significant one, but we’ve got no option. We’ve got to deal with it.”

Several key aspects of the arena are still underwater, including the locker rooms, the production rooms used for running the coliseum’s scoreboards and the new volleyball offices, which hadn’t even been completed prior to the flooding.

Malchow estimated the new volleyball offices would be “totalled,” while the locker rooms are “probably toast”

Athletic department employees also guessed that several smaller objects — such as media monitors and training equipment — also were destroyed, the cost of which “adds up.”

“We’re a resilliant bunch,” Malchow said. “This is a tough thing we’re going to have to battle together, but there are some strong-minded people in this athletic department and we’ll survive this, too. It’s a challenge, but one that we have to embrace and we’ll succeed and make our way through it.”

— Jack Trice Stadium is one of few ISU athletic facilities not greatly affected by the flooding, and Malchow said there have been no significant damages noticed at the stadium.

While nothing at the stadium will keep Iowa State from matching up with Northern Illinois on Sept. 2, Britton said that water in the surrounding areas may force a change in parking locations.

“We have general parking lots and Cyclone Club lots that park on the grass, and they’re flooded right now,” Britton said.

Some of the technical operations for Jack Trice’s scoreboard are run out of Hilton Coliseum, adding to potential snags leading up to the season.

“There are a lot of pieces we need to evaluate in the coming days and weeks to see where we’re at,” Malchow said.

— Malchow said the ISU athletic ticket office will be closed Friday, to allow for repairs to be made in that facility. The ticket offices will be open for operation again on Monday.