story Nicholas Lua, Contributing Reporter
Within a month of the new campus opening, the floor of the Multi-Purpose Hall (MPH) has been damaged with skateboard marks, smudges and scratches. Confusion remains as to why. Some pointed to the incorrect use of the MPH, while others suggested the lack of lacquering could have exacerbated harm done to the floor. There are no immediate plans for repairs.
Co-captain of the Men’s Basketball team Subhas Nair ’17 has seen people skateboarding and wearing the wrong type of footwear, like flip-flops, in the MPH. On the other hand, Executive Vice-President (Institutional Affairs) Doris Sohmen-Pao said in an email interview that the damage was due to “use prior to the completion of the flooring and/or incorrect use of the floor… [like] the moving of heavy items.”
Given the limited space in Yale-NUS College, the MPH is also used for non-athletic activities, which some suggested have contributed to the damage of the floor. Hannah James ’18, Inter-Faculty Games (IFGs) Sports Director, was concerned about the dragging of bleachers and tables during the Frosh Mixer held on Aug. 7. These sentiments were echoed by James Shirvell, Dean’s Fellow (DF) in the Athletics Department. He said: “We haven’t treated [the floor] the best way… like having the Frosh Mixer there.”
But Frosh Mixer organizer Dynn Othman ’18 said “precautions” had been taken and his team was “attentive” in caring for the floor. He said they had moved heavy objects in the MPH with care. Permission was also sought from Associate Director (Athletics & Fitness) Wain Khoo to move the bleachers.
Some also felt that a lacquered finish would have prevented damage. But the MPH floor was designed to have a matte, not lacquered finish, said Ms. Sohmen-Pao. She added that there is a protective coating on the floor to prevent damage from sports use. Senior Manager of Facilities Eugene Tan added that the wood of the floor is pre-treated so that it does not warp or get damaged. However, he noted that damage will occur if the floor is improperly used.
Mr. Shirvell said an additional layer of lacquer would extend the longevity of the MPH floor. Nair agreed, adding that top basketball courts have lacquered floors.
Use of the MPH has not been affected. Sports practices have continued despite the damage, said Mr. Shirvell. Maintenance of the floor will go on as per normal with no special repairs. The floor will be sanded and repolished at approximately three-year intervals, said Mr. Tan. Should there be severe damages that pose a safety concern, Facilities will repair the floor, he added.