UCLA to replace flooded floor

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

LOS ANGELES -- The famed hardwood court at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion will be replaced because of damage caused when 20 million gallons of water cascaded onto campus from a broken water main, the school announced Friday.

In addition, the university began removing hundreds of cars that were swamped in underground parking structures.

Athletic director Dan Guerrero said Friday that the entire wood floor of the famed court will be replaced by the end of October and no regular-season basketball games will be affected.

Pauley Pavilion, which was deluged by 10 inches of water, underwent a $136 million upgrade just two years ago. Guerrero said the current floor cost $500,000.

New flooring also will be installed at the Hall of Fame at the J.D. Morgan Center and at a court in the John Wooden Center that is used for women's volleyball games, Guerrero said.

The announcement came as the university continued to clean up the mucky mess that occurred Tuesday when a century-old pipe broke on nearby Sunset Boulevard.

The amount of water released represented about 4 percent of the total used by the entire city on an average day and occurred in the midst of an epic state drought.

Elsewhere on campus, a parade of tow trucks removed about 400 vehicles that were submerged in the deluge, UCLA spokesman Tod Tamberg said. The process could take several days because workers were still pumping out water and digging through muck and debris.

About 270 cars not damaged by water were removed earlier and made available to owners.

UCLA officials said six facilities were damaged in the flooding. Two -- the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center and the Drake Track and Field Stadium -- were reopened Thursday, Tamberg said.

At the site of the broken main, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power crews cut away 66 feet of the damaged steel pipe. The ruptured section will be sent to DWP corrosion experts for analysis.

The repairs were expected to continue through Friday or early Saturday, with work then beginning to repair a gaping hole in the heavily traveled street.

UCLA officials had tried to save the floor of the storied basketball arena, where John Wooden coached teams that won eight of his 10 national championships.

The 49-year-old building contains precious artifacts from the Wooden era and has hosted some of college basketball's greatest players and moments, as well as Olympic history.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Reggie Miller, Ed O'Bannon, Kevin Love and Ann Meyers starred there during their college days. The school's record 11 men's basketball national championship banners hang in the rafters.

The 13,800-seat arena is home to the men's and women's basketball teams. The men's and women's volleyball and women's gymnastics teams also compete there. It is named for former UCLA regent and chief donor Edwin Pauley.

UCLA men's basketball coach Steve Alford, who is still on vacation in Florida, said he would be back at UCLA next week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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