AMES, IA -- The Lied Recreation Center at Iowa State University (ISU) is closed until further notice after 18 to 24 inches of flood water breached the facility last week. Three nights of heavy rain caused extensive flooding in Ames, IA, where the university is located, and in other parts of the state.

ISU recreation service employees were allowed back into the building beginning the evening of Aug. 11. Service crews began cleanup efforts the next morning—opening the doors to the building to allow flood waters to flow out.

“Pretty much the entire first floor has been compromised,” Mike Giles, ISU director of recreation services since June 1, told the Iowa State Daily. “We've lost little things to big things—it’s not really a matter at this point to be able to pinpoint specifics.”

The rec center staff is working with university administrators to put together insurance claims for the flood damage. Staff will meet with insurance adjusters over the next few days to determine the cost of the damage.

Giles said all of the wooden racquetball courts and carpeting in recreation services offices were destroyed and will need to be replaced. Most of the equipment storage areas on the first floor also will need to be repaired or replaced. Giles said he still does not know the extent of the damage on Lied’s indoor track.

The plan is to have the rec center open early this week, pending evaluation of the effects of mold and bacteria in the building.

University officials started a Flood Relief Fund to allow supporters to donate money for the school’s cleanup effort.

ISU students will be given free access to Ames Racquet and Fitness clubs until the Lied center reopens.

“We know that this is a stressful time for a lot of people, and we believe in exercise and health and fitness, and we think this is the right thing to do,” Brett Halverson, manager of Ames Racquet and Fitness, told the Iowa State Daily.