MSU came under fire when the construction company contracted to erect the North and South “pop-up” gyms on campus filed a lawsuit against the university on Wednesday, Sept. 11. The suit claimed that the university failed to provide the necessary funding to properly complete the inflation of the gyms.
The Marga Hosaeus Fitness Center’s South Gym collapsed early in the morning of March 7, 2019 due to the overwhelming amount of snow that collected on its flat roof. The collapse prompted immediate closure of the entire center. On March 9, the North Gym collapsed as well.
While most of the fitness center has been deemed safe for occupancy and is reopened, MSU has chosen to maintain a pair of inflatable pop-up gyms that will hold basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts. These pop-up gyms will be on campus as long as it takes for permanent facilities to be built.
MSU contracted Dome, Sweet Dome Construction Co. to complete the inflation of the pop-up gyms, but failed to provide the requisite funding to complete the job. Because of the lack of funding, the company was unable to obtain the required equipment to inflate these structures. This issue left Chief Inflation Officer Jim Enflaedyr to complete the job himself with only a foot pump. Enflaedyr completed the inflation of the South Dome on Wednesday, Aug. 21.
Enflaeydr has declined a free membership to all public gym facilities on campus as settlement. Instead, he is seeking a settlement “worth a bit more.”
MSU’s lack of funding for equipment has surprised few. The dismal state of 11th Avenue in the spring, deferred roof repairs on campus, and regular replacement of parking affordable to students in favor of more expensive lots or new buildings are all blatant neglect for the small things on campus that still require funding. Critics of MSU’s handling of these topics expressed that their biggest frustration is the university’s readiness to spend millions of dollars remodeling older buildings on campus and building brand-new facilities at the same time rather than correcting these small issues.
While the new residence halls are a necessary expense to deal with MSU’s increasing enrollment, small but necessary projects to maintain the campus cannot be deferred. In addition, the students currently attending MSU cannot continue to pay the same for parking but receive less every year for their money.
Dome, Sweet Dome Co. has stated they will no longer contract with the university after the pop-up gym project.
Disclaimer: Fool's Gold is a satire column by the MSU Exponent staff