February 09. 2013 6:39PM

No one hurt as FPU 'Bubble' collapses

Union Leader Correspondent

Large holes in the Franklin Pierce University "Bubble" could prolong its reopening. (MEGHAN PIERCE/Union Leader Correspondent)

The Blizzard of 2013 took down the Franklin Pierce University Grimshaw-Gudewicz Activity Center, known as the "Bubble," Friday night. (MEGHAN PIERCE/Union Leader Correspondent)

RINDGE – Wind and snow from the weekend blizzard took down the Franklin Pierce University Grimshaw-Gudewicz Activity Center known as the "Bubble" Friday night.

No one was inside the structure when the collapse occurred, a university employee said Saturday afternoon.

The Bubble is made out of a plastic material that covers 72,000 square feet and reaches seven stories high. It is held up by a constant air flow between an outer and inside layer of the material.

It also collapsed during the 2008 ice storm.

The center serves as a recreation area and gym for the entire campus population and is also open to Rindge residents.

The facility also has a weight room and is used as an inclement weather practice facility for the university's athletic program.

Kelsey Devlin, a member of the Franklin Pierce track team, said in 2008 the Bubble was back up in within a week, however, because of the large tears in the bubble caused by the blizzard, she has been told it could take a month for the Bubble to be back up and open.

Until then Devlin said the track team will use an indoor track about 45 minutes away in Massachusetts for practice.
Franklin Pierce student Steve Nardone, who works out in the Bubble daily, said without the Bubble students won't get out and be as active as they were.

"I think the school will get it up and operational as soon as possible because sports is kind of a focus here," he said.