Campus, News

Leaks at Walter Pyramid pose potential impact on winter season

With the upcoming winter sports season approaching, school officials are preparing for the possibility of game relocations due to leaks in the Walter Pyramid.

Last year and earlier this year, heavy rain and leaks in the roof of the 30-year-old Walter Pyramid forced games to be held at the Gold Mine, LBSU’s multipurpose arena on campus.

During last winter season, Gold Mine’s restricted arc was three feet instead of four, which caused a delay in the game scheduled to be there.

Newly appointed Athletic Director Bobby Smitheran said that he is preparing for possible impacts to games in the winter season.

“We’re looking at all aspects of the facility from the rims, to the sound, to the lighting, to the stands, to how do we prepare for where [the students] are going to sit,” Smitheran said.

Smitheran aims to notify Beach fans and ticket holders at least six hours ahead of time if a game is going to be relocated by using social media and the LBSU athletics website.

He also hopes that a second study of issues with the infrastructure of the Pyramid will provide a roadmap toward a reasonable repair price.

“I think the results of that study will really guide a conversation around what is the appropriate approach,” Smitheran said.

The first study found that a repair would cost $55 million.

“From a feasibility standpoint, that doesn’t make a lot of sense for us as an institution and for the facility,” Smitheran said.

This fall, the Instructionally Related Activities Fee, which aims to support essential educational experiences and activities, was raised from $24 to $65 and will increase to $89 next spring semester.

None of this money has yet been put towards repairs due to continued efforts to pinpoint the exact challenges and issues, according to Smitheran.

“I know the Pyramid is a priority for everyone on this campus, but at some point, there becomes a reality of what we can or can’t do in regards to a problem that can be as large as $55 million,” Smitheran said.

Despite feelings of uncertainty with the Pyramid, participation in the school’s sports programs has grown over the past year. According to Smitheran, this year’s average attendance at women’s volleyball games has almost doubled, growing from 187 to 352.

With attendance growing, safety at the games has become a priority for school officials.

“Obviously we want to play all of our games at the Pyramid if we can, but student athlete’s safety is first and foremost in my mind,” Smitheran said.

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