Flooding damages Tillie Lewis Theatre over winter break


The Tillie Lewis Theatre flooded sometime during winter break, prompting emergency repairs to the Locke Center location.The flooding came from a broken hydronic line, which spouted water into the orchestra pit area before the district found it, said Arts and Communication Division Dean Christopher Guptill. Guptill oversees theater operations as part of his role.

“I was told the cause was a steam pipe that broke,” said Guptill. “This happened during the winter break and I wasn’t informed about this until around Dec. 28.”

On Feb. 4, the Board of Trustees approved an emergency request for repairs by the Restoration Management Company, which was sent in to drain the water out.

As a result, the stage area, as well as the prop room and clothing storage, were damaged by the flooding. The freight elevator flooded, too. It’s since been fixed. 

“While it flooded … enough to flood the gears, maintenance came in, took it apart and returned to service,” said Guptill.

Despite the damage, the contracted company, Restoration Management Company and schindler elevator company was able to repair the damages from floor to wall. Items that couldn’t be salvaged were thrown away.

Guptill said he hasn’t received confirmation yet regarding the total damages, but according to resolution 19-14, the cost for the necessary repairs “exceeds the formal bid threshold.” According to the Feb. 4 board of trustees meeting agenda, Restoration Management Company was contracted for $150,000 and Schindler Elevator Company was contracted for $100,000.

As of now, all of the theater has been fully repaired with everything being replaced from floor to the wall and assures that nothing has changed the schedule of performances coming up.

“It has not affected the schedule; things will keep moving forward,” said Guptill.