On Wednesday evening, a fire broke out on the construction site of Texas Tech’s new Sports Performance Center, as crews were adding new roofing materials. According to Michael Molina, TTU’s vice chancellor of facility planning and construction, wind may have been a contributing factor, but an investigation into the cause is ongoing.
Molina told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that the situation would have been much worse if not for the presence of the fire watchmen, crew members designated to monitor the site. “We reacted quickly,” he said. “Everybody did a good job doing what they needed to do and to contain the fire.”
A video shared on social media shows smoke pouring from the roof of the new building:
Fire by the new athletic facility https://t.co/YRe0Kob4WX— M.A. Cantu (@MichaelCantuDT) March 22, 2017
The fire was ignited around five p.m., causing significant delays in rush hour traffic surrounding TTU’s Jones AT&T Stadium, but there were no reported injuries. Officials are still in the process of assessing the damage to the site and the new facility, which was originally projected to be complete in time for the upcoming football season.
The $48 million privately funded Sports Performance Center is designed to accommodate a new track and field competition venue, a football practice field, a multisport weight room, a sports nutrition bar and a hydropool with a plyometrics area.