San Marcos Activity Center closed until new year due to pipe burst, water damage

Hays

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — A large pipe burst causing extensive flooding last Friday is forcing the San Marcos Activity Center to close until the new year.

According to the City of San Marcos, the 26-year-old facility that was partially remodeled in 2017 had a “poly pipe that disconnected from its coupler, causing several inches of water to cover the entire facility.”

It’s been a space that’s helped create lasting memories.

“The activity center has always been my location,” Barbara Escobar said. “I got married there. I had my other daughter’s quince there.”

In just a few weeks, Escobar’s other daughter’s Quinceañera, or 15th birthday celebration, was scheduled at the San Marcos Activity Center.

“It’s like a wedding, so it was very devastating,” Escobar said. “The hardest thing is, things get booked up, you know, years in advance.”

Escobar said the staff called her early on Friday, giving her the most notice possible.

Christie Murillo, administrative coordinator with San Marcos Parks and Recreation, said staff arrived onsite shortly after flooding was detected.

“Obviously, everything was very saturated,” Murillo said.

A National Disaster team is now cleaning up after water ruined parts of the San Marcos Activity Center.

“Today, we were over there, and everything is really dry. They’re removing the carpet, almost done with that, they’ve removed hardwood floors already for the most part,” Murillo said.

According to the city, staff had to make dozens of phone calls letting people know their events will have to be moved elsewhere. But it said staff did so right away, once it realized the extent of damages.

According to Murillo, they’ve been trying to help people find new locations when possible.

“In addition to, you know, youth programming and senior programming, every day there’s one or several meetings,” Murillo said.

San Marcos staff has also temporarily ended memberships and paused automatic payments for members who used the facilities.

“We definitely expect that there’s going to be a pretty big impact yes, with the revenue that proceeds from those,” Murillo said.

Having to deal with a shutdown at the beginning of the pandemic, Murillo said they’re working through this the best they can, with more experience now. She’s also been recording updates for community members, posting them on the city’s Facebook page.

Escobar was able to find a new venue, understanding some things are just out of your control.

“It is what it is,” Escobar said. “God has come through, and we are now planning, and I’m ready. Let’s do it!”

Staff is working to find other recreation options and meeting space for the community, the city says. It’ll also be offering total wellness classes virtually. In the meantime, residents are encouraged to head outdoors and use the city’s sidewalks, trails and parks.

If you have personal belongings still on site in lockers, the city is asking you to contact the center directly for assistance in getting those items back.

You can get more information by emailing activitycenterinfo@sanmarcostx.gov or calling (512) 393-8280.

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