After Fast and Furious Clean-up, Kuch Center Reopens Monday

By Purnell T. Cropper | July 20, 2010

Kuch Center reopened on Monday, July 19, sparkling clean and bedecked with new carpeting in offices, locker rooms and hallways.

No sooner had the flood water rushed into and out of Kuch Center on Tuesday morning than key Arcadia staff hit the ground running to ensure that the building would be back on line as soon as possible.

“What an incredible effort on the part of Tom Macchi, our employees, and our construction partner Delran Builders,” says Vice President and Treasurer Mike Coveney, who was standing in the receding water within minutes after a supercell rained down more than four inches in a matter of moments in the Glenside area.

Associate Vice President Tom Macchi was already on his mobile phone, and ServePro and two other cleaning teams were on their way to Kuch, arriving in less than an hour, their trucks filled with vacuums, cleaners and drying blowers.

Mimi Bassetti, Director of Administrative Services, was on the phone consulting with the University’s insurance carrier. And Debbie Blackstock, Director of Conference Services, was communicating with groups using Kuch and figuring out temporary plans.

“Our insurance  administrator, EIIA, responded so quickly,” Bassetti said. “A specialist in floods—one of the best guys who dealt with Katrina—said, “I just finished a job. I’m getting on a plane from Atlanta.’ He was on campus in no time, and he was invaluable.”

All hands pitched in on the clean-up effort. Construction crews, grounds and building staff, and the professional cleaning firms had the building sparkling by 2 a.m. on Wednesday, with dozens of dryers left in place . Industrial strength humidifiers will help to finish the drying job.

“We’re back up and running in less than a week,” Macchi said. Some replacement equipment has been ordered. Macchi notes that the pool was unaffected. The Fitness Center equipment has been sanitized and will be serviced over the weekend so that the facilities are ready to open on Monday.

“It’s amazing what we all accomplished,” said a smiling Shirley Liddle, Athletics Director, on Friday afternoon. “Thanks to everyone who helped in the effort.”

“Thanks to the incredible quick efforts, the gym floor is still usable and can be replaced next year with minimal inconvenience to the community and as part of the construction project,” notes Coveney.

“The work continues,” said Macchi, who noted that once Kuch was cleaned up, work continued around campus on Wednesday, especially in Taylor Hall, where third floor offices received carpet and paint. “We moved hundreds of pieces of furniture on Wednesday.”