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After summer flooding, Bethel will get new gym floor

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – When basketball season goes into full swing after Christmas, Bethel College will have the newest gym floor in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.

That’s thanks to Mother Nature and a good insurance policy.

More than four inches of rain fell in under three hours on the night of July 29. The Kidron-Martin Canal on the north side of campus, meant to drain runoff water from the campus and nearby residential areas into Sand Creek, ran over the adjacent access road and flowed into the Memorial Hall basement and Thresher Gym.

A team of campus and community volunteers worked late into the night July 29-30 to clear the water from the gym floor, but there were still 1-2 inches trapped underneath.

College employees and professionals worked to dry out and rehabilitate the floor, which the volleyball team used for its practices and home games this fall, but in the end, the decision was that the floor had to be replaced.

“I am excited to announce that our insurance company has agreed to cover the cost of a new floor for Thresher Gym,” Allen Wedel, vice president for business affairs, announced Nov. 11. “We have been negotiating this over the last couple of months.”

The project has begun, with Acme Floor Co., Lenexa, now removing the old floor. It is set to be completed by Christmas.

Kent Allshouse, Bethel athletic director, has been negotiating other sites where the men’s and women’s basketball teams can practice and play. Although the Mem Hall gym can be, and currently is, used for some practices, it doesn’t have enough seating to accommodate the games.

There are 14 home games (men’s and women’s varsity and JV) on the schedule between Nov. 30 and Dec. 18, the start of Christmas break for basketball players. Allshouse has found alternate venues for those games (see sidebar for revised varsity and JV schedules).

“The floor that is being installed is a better floor than we currently have,” Wedel said. “We look forward to the completion of this project. We will have the newest floor in the KCAC.”

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2013-14 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2013-14. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA.

In sports, Bethel plays in the 10-member KCAC and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. For more information, see or

Sidebar: Changes in Bethel home basketball schedule, Nov. 15-Dec. 18

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College home basketball games scheduled between now and the end of the semester, Dec. 18, have been relocated because the Thresher Gym floor is being replaced.

The revised home schedule, Nov. 15-Dec. 18, is as follows:

Varsity men

Nov. 15, Park University at Central Christian College, McPherson, 7 p.m.

Nov. 30, @Central Christian (previously home game), 7 p.m.

Dec. 12, @Tabor (previously home game), 8 p.m.

Dec. 14, @Ottawa (previously home game), 7 p.m.

Dec. 18, William Penn at Hesston College, 7 p.m.

JV men

Dec. 3, @Central Christian (previously home game), 7 p.m.

Dec. 12, @Tabor (previously home game), 4 p.m.

Dec. 14, @Ottawa (previously home game), 3 p.m.

Varsity women

Nov. 26, @Central Christian (previously home game), 6 p.m.

Dec. 12, @Tabor (previously home game), 6 p.m.

Dec. 14, @Ottawa (previously home game), 5 p.m.

Dec. 18, William Penn at Hesston College, 5 p.m.

JV women

Nov. 26, Brown Mackie at Central Christian College, McPherson, 8 p.m.

Dec. 12, @Tabor (previously home game), 2 p.m.

Dec. 14, @Ottawa (previously home game), 1 p.m.

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