Fab Lab In Tulsa Reopens After Flooding

Thursday, July 11th 2019, 3:18 pm
By: Joseph Holloway

Fab Lab Tulsa is now back open after rising water forced it to close for weeks. The lab gives the community access to state-of-the-art digital fabrication tools, equipment and technology.

Employees at the Fab Lab Tulsa say they've been in this location for nearly 10 years, but this was the first time they ever dealt with flooding. They learned very quickly that it only takes a little bit of water to do a lot of damage.

"Within about 15 minutes, the entire building, from end to end and every corner, was filled with water," said Executive Director Nathan Pritchett.

Executive Director Nathan Pritchett sent us video of the flooding outside the building near 7th and Lewis. Nearly five inches of water got inside and Pritchett said they thought they were able to dry it out that day, but the water soaked into the sheetrock and insulation.

"I was really naive to the damage it was going to cost, not having experienced anything like this before and it was surprising that despite our best efforts and getting the water out so quickly, it caused so much damage in such a short time," Pritchett said.

Managers at the lab say they spent several weeks making repairs and replacing furniture, cameras and monitors.

"We've had a very anxious community of members that have been chomping at the bit, if you will, to get back in here and get their projects restarted," Pritchett said.

Pritchett says they'll now think more carefully about what items could survive another flood.

"I now walk into spaces and I think 'what would happen if this space were to flood? Does that go in the dumpster, does that carpet go in the dumpster, does that furniture go in the dumpster?'"