The theaters at Clemson University’s Brooks Center will be closed for more than a month due to a colony of bats which have taken up roost in the building.
School spokesman John Gouch told South Carolina Radio Network the bats are being removed. “That’s being done humanely and they’re covering some openings in the building with these vents that allow the bats to leave and not return.”
The Brooks Center is working with wildlife experts to make sure the any necessary repairs and cleaning are fully addressed.
Gouch, said that once all of the bats are out of the building, it will need to be cleaned. “It’s going to take a little time, so the Brooks Center’s theaters are closed until May 15th.”
The bats were discovered after audience members spotted them flying about the theater during a dance presentation. “They actually stopped the performance about five minutes early,” Gouch said. “They were concerned about the dancers, they didn’t want anybody on stage to be injured by flying bats.”
School Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation chair Greg Yarrow said the animals were free-tailed bats, which have a very low risk of carrying rabies. He said increased bat activity is not unusual in the spring when the creatures are establishing maternal colonies after breeding.
The unplanned theater closures at the Brooks Center will make it necessary for a number of scheduled performances and events to be relocated, rescheduled and, in some cases, canceled.
Announcements on affected events will be shared with ticket-holders and will be posted on the Brooks Center website and through Clemson University social media channels once information becomes available.