Although it wasn't planned that way, the Student Activity Center at Northeastern A&M may wind up being the home for the Norse and Lady Norse basketball teams.
Flooding from the Neosho River and Tar Creek took care of that.
Offices and storerooms in the NEO Fieldhouse, located a couple hundred feet west of Tar Creek, were cleared out earlier in the week. But approximately 18 inches of water inundated the building, destroying the basketball court.
“We moved everything we could, NEO president Dr. Glenn Mayle said. “We don't believe anything is damaged, just the floor. We will clean the building, sanitize it and we will be back in business there. But it will take a while to get the gym floor (back) down.
The SAC, completed in 2005, is the home of the NEO volleyball team and has been a primary venue for the Northeastern A&M high school basketball tournament.
It was necessitated when the original NEO gymnasium burned in 2001.
Once the “new NEO Fieldhouse was completed in 1969, the older gym was used for intramurals and as an indoor practice facility. It also housed the college's music department.
Construction of the SAC was delayed while engineers altered plans to make sure the facility was outside the existing Tar Creek flood plain.
Those plans saved the day this week.
“When we built that Student Activity Center, we were never planning on having basketball games there, but I guess that's where they are going to be now, Mayle said. “Fortunately, we have someplace for them to go.
“The floor is a total loss, Norse coach Dustin Grover said. “It will be a logistical problem, because we will be needing another gym to practice in. We will have to work out the best solution. But we did it for couple years before that (in the time before the SAC was completed).
Extensive flooding also hit the football practice field, football fieldhouse and Robertson Field as well as the softball and baseball fields.
“I got a call today from our administration letting us know they don't want us in the building (fieldhouse) until it's been sanitized - then we will assess the damage, said Rob Green, NEO's head football coach and coordinator of athletics. “We will be fine. The last concern for Miami needs to be our football program. It's unimaginable, the magnitude of the damage. We're got more concerns with the people of Miami who are homeless and stranded.
“I know our administration has a plan and a course to take. There is no quick fix, though.