The heavy rains and massive flooding that hit Boulder County last month will delay the opening of the renovated University of Colorado Recreation Center.
Because parts of the recreation center are under construction, rain fell inside some areas of the building, which will push back the center's planned opening next spring by about three weeks, said associate director of facilities Steve Najera.
"There's new roofs, old roofs and no roofs," Najera said. "Literally, we had waterfalls in certain areas."
Construction for the $63 million renovation and expansion project, which is being paid for by student fees, began last fall.
The flooding won't delay the opening of a major addition to the recreation center scheduled for January, when students come back to campus after winter break, Najera said. The addition to the building's southwest side includes cardiovascular and weightlifting areas, group fitness areas, offices, the main entrance and other features.
Crews are now focusing more of their attention on the southwest addition so that it can open as scheduled, Najera said.
"What the general contractor has done is accelerated their schedule and essentially increased their work crews to make up those three weeks because that January date is really critical," Najera said.
The ice rink is also close to opening, Najera said. The contractors have "handed over" the rink to the recreation center staff to paint and make ice. Najera said the ice rink should open in about two weeks.
Crews began digging a hole for the outdoor buffalo-shaped swimming pool this week, Najera said. Construction on the outdoor pool will be finished in March, but Najera said it won't be open for swimming until at least April.
The pool will be heated by excess warmth taken from the ice rink, Najera said. The pool-ice rink "energy loop" then uses any heat left over from the swimming pool for showers, faucets and other parts of the building.
Crews are also making progress on two new restaurants at the University Memorial Center. Cold Stone Creamery is set to open next month, and Panda Express will open mid-December, said Andrea Zelinko, the center's assistant director for administration. Cold Stone will replace Kaplan on the center's first floor, and Panda Express will take over the space formerly occupied by Wok & Roll Teriyaki.
Zelinko said the UMC conducts a survey every two years to see what types of food students are interested in seeing at the center. A survey in 2012 found that ice cream and Asian food were both high on students' lists. Cold Stone and Panda Express join vendors such as Subway, Domino's Pizza and Jamba Juice inside the University Memorial Center.
"People are excited to have ice cream in November," Zelinko said.
A $3.1 million renovation project on the UMC's Glenn Miller Ballroom is set to begin in May, Zelinko said.
CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard said improvements to the campus recreation center and student center are upgrades in "basic services" for students.
"We're just making the investments necessary to secure a basic quality of life for our students," Bronson said.