The men’s sauna in the Sports Center is out of commission and likely will be for about a month.On the morning of Thursday, Jan. 12, the sauna began emitting noxious smoke, which filled the locker room and the downstairs hallway. The source? Burning plastic on the sauna’s electric stove.
A Sports Center patron put a plastic object on the heating unit and left it there. For lack of evidence (and due to an unshakable faith in the goodness of humankind) Sports Center staff assumes it was an accident.
“The good things is, this time it wasn’t because anyone was misusing it [the sauna],” said Peggy Steffen, business operations manager at the Sports Center. Steffen is referring to the closure of the sauna last year due to steamy co-ed “extra-curriculars” taking place.
The accident comes with a considerable price tag. Four of the stove’s six heating elements, the metal grill and all of the heating rocks were damaged. Not counting the cost of labor, fixing the stove will cost approximately $800, according to Maintenance Supervisor Bruce Hamilton.
It will probably be three to four weeks before the sauna is up and running again. “It’s not really a priority, with everything else we have going on on campus,” said Hamilton.