Snow Blamed for Field House Roof Collapse
As snow falls and puddles freeze, staying warm just got a little more complicated for athletes. The athletic department announced this week that Jones Field House, the winter practice site for outdoor sports, is closed for repairs.
“A fracture in one of the trusses supporting the roof has caused potential instability in the structure,” said Athletic Director Joe Karlgaard in an e-mail to the Review. “From a safety standpoint, we simply cannot hold activities in Jones Field House until a full engineering assessment is completed by the end of the month. At that point, we can determine what course of action to take and when Jones may be reopened.”
Jones’ closing will impact many groups who need to keep practicing during the winter months. “It affects baseball, softball, men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, club sports, [intramurals] and some clinics being hosted by teams,” commented Kiki Jacobs, assistant athletic director.
However, the athletic department is working to give everyone practice time. “For the time being, we have reshuffled our varsity and club practice times, ExCo classes, clinics and intramurals. We are also taking advantage of rental space off campus on a limited basis for four in-season varsity programs: men’s and women’s lacrosse, baseball and softball,” explained Karlgaard.
Some of the teams are leaving campus to practice. “Right now, men’s and women’s lacrosse, baseball and softball have been moved to a different location, and men’s and women’s rugby and men’s and women’s ultimate frisbee are holding some practices in Philips,” he added.
The closure will especially impact club sports like rugby and ultimate frisbee, which do not have the opportunity to practice at another facility and are anxious to start practicing for the spring season. “It’s really important for us to use this because we’re a really competitive spring sport,” said Dan Lesser, College senior and men’s ultimate frisbee captain. “But the athletic department has been pretty good about giving us chances to play in the gym,” he added, stressing that club sports leaders are doing their best to work together with the athletics department to reach a solution.
Oberlin Head Athletic Trainer Tim Carver said that Jones’ closing would not affect the training room facilities based on current information.
Karlgaard said he hopes to make the next few weeks go as smoothly as possible. “I recognize the impact this closure has on our student-athletes. We are operating with all urgency to identify short- and long-term solutions. Our goal is to maximize our ability to hold effective practices while keeping the appropriate academic, athletic and social balance that is the hallmark of a liberal-arts education.”