Water damage found in high school gym floor delays renovation work

A large section of the floor was removed and other tests are being done to determine whether the entire High School gym floor will need to be replaced due to a broken pipe that came from an emergency shower.  Times photo by Tyler Ohmann

A large section of the floor was removed and other tests are being done to determine whether the entire High School gym floor will need to be replaced due to a broken pipe that came from an emergency shower.
Times photo by Tyler Ohmann

Milaca’s High School gym was supposed to get a face lift that would be unveiled come the new school year. However, that unveiling will be delayed due to water damage found in the floor after the old bleachers were removed.

“During the process of refinishing the gym floor, the flooring company discovered a water intrusion problem, and we have got a significant amount of damage to the gym floor,” said school board member Todd Quaintance, on behalf of the building and ground committee at the Aug. 13 school board meeting. “We weren’t sure of the extent of the damage at first, but the insurance company came in and authorized us to completely replace a portion of that floor, and we’ll wait and see after they do some more tests.”

Superintendent Jerry Hansen confirmed later that it was a busted pipe from the emergency shower in the dish room of the kitchen that caused the intrusion problem and halted the plans to finish the gym.

“That’s actually good news, because now at least we know it’s not a leaky roof, it’s not ground water,” Hansen said.

Work to replace the damaged floor can not begin quite yet though. Though the main portion of the damage has been removed, the insurance company has to check the moisture in other points of the floor to determine how much or if all of the floor needs to be replaced according to Hansen.

“We don’t know if it’s going to be a patch or a total replacement, that’s what we’re trying to find out,” Hansen said.

The goal to finish the floor portion of the project is the end of September. Hansen believes that since the project will be taking place during the school year that could help expedite the process.

“Talking with flooring companies, we should be able to go in and whether it’s a repair or replacement and have it all done by the end of September, at least that’s the goal,” Hansen said.

However, the school is not looking to rush the job, Hansen said they still need to make sure it is done right.

“I’d rather go a little slower, take a little more time and make sure the job is done correctly and thoroughly, because what you don’t want to do is do it quickly and then have a problem appear,” Hansen said. “It’s like fixing your car, either I fix it all the way, or I fix it part way and then two years later the rumble is coming back.”

As far as those who use the gym, the volleyball team has been hit the hardest, but Hansen has been pleased by their compliance.

“The volleyball coach has been very, very good as to how he’s going to schedule practices between junior high and high school,” Hansen said.

The original plan for the gym was sand an refinish the floor, remove the old bleachers and then put in replacements.

The replacement bleachers would seat about 900 on one side, and the other side of the court would contain portable bleachers that seat 500.

The reason for the change was that the space is now being used for more than sports, thanks to an influx in attendance in events that would have normally been held in the Dahlager Theater.

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