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Montagne Center expected to be ready in time for Lamar’s season

Hurricane Ike left some calling cards behind in places like Beaumont, TX. But it appears the damange is repairable.
Lamar University men’s basketball coach Steve Roccaforte did a smart thing last weekend. With Hurricane Ike barreling towards town, he skedaddled on the road talking to recruits. When he gets back to town, he will discover everything survived … although his home court is a little messy.

Montagne Center
is expected to be ready to go when the Cardinals open their season November 15 against Louisiana College. But Roccaforte may have to walk carefully around the place for a few days.

Two days after Ike’s windy/rainy visit, one crew used generator-powered equipment to remove water and debris from the ground floor. On the battered south side of the building, another crew got busy patching up the place. A dank smell was prevalent through the building, but it didn’t have anyone running for a gas mask.

But the rest of the place, although it looked like a mess, held up well.

Athletics Director Billy Tubbs said some offices on the ground floor of the building suffered minor water damage but everything was gone in a day.

Consider Roccaforte, who had been recruiting on the West Coast, relieved. “I mean, if you’re from California and you get earthquakes, can you really hold it against somebody else when they have hurricanes?”  he said. “They only ask me two things: ‘Is your house OK, and is your family OK?’ ”

With a straight face, Roccaforte can look them in the eye and answer both questions with a yes. But the hurricane season isn’t over and Montagne Center looked a little vulnerable after Ike’s trip through town. But Tubbs, a former basketball coach himself, says everything should be fine by the first game which is two months away. And. although Texans have been known to tell a tall take or two in their day, this one appears to be on target.