The Arts and Theater Department has dispersed around the Sanford/Lake Mary campus this semester following the discovery of a sinkhole that damaged Building G, home of Seminole State’s Performing Arts Center.
Since early May, faculty and students have been relocated all across the campus and welcomed with open arms.
Mainly involving the arts and theater department, students and personnel have been transferred to “the Technical Theater in the B and D buildings” as well as “J is for music and art,” said Michelle Cuomo, dean of Arts and Communication.
The issue was discovered May 6 after an electrician noticed cracks behind the stage, said Kevin Carr, manager for Environmental Health and Safety.
“We had originally thought it was a drainage issue,” Carr said. “We just had a big storm that weekend, we had four inches of rain.”
After conducting more examination, the college contacted constructional engineer BBM company. Ground penetrating radar showed the first indication of an anomaly, which appeared to be a sinkhole, Carr said.
The damage has caused a disruption not only to the students but the facility itself. The estimated cost for Seminole State’s insurance claims calls for a deductible of $10,000, officials said.
The plan for refurbishing the building consists of “an old upper storage unit, which would be the only thing redesigned because it was never built to code,” Carr said. “Everything will be back to the way it was, but better.”
Carr also said they have a new awareness for similar problems.
“We do have an awareness of it, our staff if they see changes in ground level, we will come take a look at it, so it’s similar to what we’ve been doing but now we have that heightened awareness.”
Local venues have offered help.
The Wayne Densch Theater in Sanford is allowing Seminole State artists to perform, for example.
“Lyman High School has lent us band instruments,” said Kate Henry, vice president of Marketing and Strategic Communications.
Cuomo said student and staff have come together.
“To know that the community really knows about us and cares about us is something I learned, and this college itself have been really supportive,” she said
Henry added that everybody really pulled together. “I think overall it went very well and the community came together.”