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Loyola University's New Student Center Floods

By Benjamin Woodard | April 18, 2013 2:35pm

ROGERS PARK — Loyola University's brand new student center flooded as rain pummeled the Chicago area, the university said Thursday.

The lower level of the much-anticipated Damen Student Center was closed after about 2½ inches of rain water flooded into its basement, said university spokeswoman Maeve Kiley.

The basement features a rock-climbing wall and a pub-style sports lounge, outfitted with big-screen TVs and video game consoles.

The university warned students to keep out of the student center Thursday morning, as the heavy rain canceled flights and closed roads.

"Water is currently being pumped out of the space and we will let you know once the space is re-opened," said William Sherry, the superintendent of facilities at Loyola's Lake Shore Campus, in an announcement to students.

Loyola University opened the center on April 3 to much fanfare. The building includes offices for student organizations, a 150-seat movie theater, restaurants and cafes and a dining hall.

"This building will be the hub of social activity on campus," said university president Michael Garanzini at a ribbon-cutting ceremony outside the 100,000-square-foot, three-floor center at 6511 N. Sheridan Road.

Electricity at two other campus buildings, the Quinlan Life Sciences Center and Flanner Hall, had been knocked out Thursday after a transformer "tripped," Sherry said.

While Flanner Hall had reopened in the afternoon, Quinlan remained closed, running only backup power.

Some student activities planned for the Damen Student Center's basement, such as a trivia night, were moved to other areas on campus.