For Lory Student Center Director Martha Blood and 200 students and staff who worked tirelessly to prepare for students returning to Colorado State University, Monday will have special meaning.
The Lory Student Center, which has been closed since the July 28 flood, is scheduled to re-open to the public at 7 a.m. Monday. A temporary university bookstore, also located in the student center, will open at 7:30 a.m.
Access to the student center is restricted to the first and second floors and all main entrances leading to these areas will be open. The lower level of the building is closed. Wheelchair access to elevators will be available on the lower level at the northwest entrance of the building.
"When the flood came, the lower level of the student center was devastated. The task of cleanup and recovery in such a short time period seemed so overwhelming," Blood said. "But we have made every effort possible to bring this building back to life and offer students the quality service they’ve come to expect."
Lory Student Center officials expect that most services located on the first and second floors will be available, including food service and retail stores. The Rambouillet Room, a restaurant for university faculty and staff, is currently serving as a temporary storage area for the bookstore and will not re- open to the public until permanent storage space is identified.
During the flood, a river of water raged through the lower level of the student center, destroying the University Bookstore, the bowling alley, game room and theater, as well as restaurants, offices for student clubs and the Ramskeller lounge for students. Offices for Campus TV, Rocky Mountain Collegian and KCSU also were damaged extensively.
Student clubs have been relocated to the office of Associated Students of CSU and can be reached at 491-1115. The Office of Community Services has moved to Allison Hall and can be reached at 491-1682. For information about operations and services in the Lory Student Center, call 491-6444.
Student media offices have moved to the old Fort Collins High School annex, 1400 Remington St., and can be reached at 222-2062. The Collegian also has established a booth on the main floor for classified advertising purchases.
In the weeks since the flood, contractors have removed debris and stripped the building down to bare walls. Crews have continuously pumped air into the lower level to prevent the growth of mildew and to make way for the rebuilding phase. Environmental health officials conducted numerous air and water tests and building inspections to ensure public safety prior to opening the building.
Blood said a committee already has been established to lead rebuilding efforts. Students, faculty and staff will be asked to give input through Sept. 29 on the amenities they’d like to see in the lower level of the building before architectural drawings and engineers begin work. Surveys will be passed out during the first week of classes or individuals may call the remodeling committee hotline at 491-6916 or give input via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We are moving ahead quickly with a plan to rebuild what we lost," Blood said. "This presents a great opportunity to add new services and programs that we may not have otherwise had and we ask that the campus community help us make those decisions."
Although most students were on summer break when the flood hit, they will have an opportunity to see its effects first-hand. Lory Student Center staff have created a display near the Campus Activities office featuring newspaper clippings and photographs documenting the flood.
Blood also has erected a temporary wall in the stairway leading to the lower level, where flood-weary employees have scribbled thoughts about the Flood of ’97. Blood has posted her own tribute to the long hours student center staff has invested in recovery and cleanup efforts over the past several weeks.
The poster features a quote from Margaret Mead that reads: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has."