After moisture underneath the middle school’s gymnasium floors caused shrinkage and gaps, town officials determined a full replacement is necessary. Construction is slated to take place this summer.
Last week, the Board of Education Middle School Building Committee accepted a bid from Kenvo Floor Co. Inc. to replace both the main and auxiliary gym floors. Work is expected to start June 18 and be completed by Aug. 2.
“We feel it's important that we leave the school in as perfect condition as possible,” committee chairman Gary Johns said on Monday.
Replacing both floors will cost roughly $360,000, with the main gym totaling $265,918 and the auxiliary gym $93,374, according to Karrie Kratz of Gilbane Building Company.
The middle school’s most recent renovation was completed in 2017. During the process, the building committee elected to resurface the gym floors rather than doing a full replacement of the almost 60-year-old floors.
That decision was made with the budget in mind, and with input from contractors who said the floors were still in good condition. The resurfacing cost about $125,000 and was done by Kenvo Floors Co. Inc.
“It’s one of those things, the hindsight is 20/20,” Johns said about choosing to resurface instead of replace the gym floors. “I think we still made the right decision at the time.”
Since then, it was determined by a consultant that environmental conditions caused the floor boards to shrink, creating gaps.
“Obviously there’s no complete certainty, but what we believe happened is that there had been a reservoir of moisture underneath that floor, probably since the time it was built,” said Joe Banks of Perkins Eastman at the April 8 committee meeting.
That moisture dried after an exterior wall was resealed, causing wood that had expanded with the moisture to shrink without it.
Banks said to prevent the same thing from happening, contractors will grind down the concrete pad, place sealer underneath the wood and have a proper seal on the outside. From there, it will also be a combination of keeping the gym properly conditioned and sealed from outside water.
The floor will be replaced with sustainable maple pine flood and restriped. The bleachers will be removed for the process, then reinstalled by the company that originally put them in place.
Johns said the floors’ current condition is substandard, but still safe for use.
“It’s just not a good quality of play, but what they’re doing for gym play, it’s perfectly adequate,” he said.
Johns said unless something unanticipated arises, this should be the last big project the committee tackles. There are still projects on the committee’s list, but those are on a smaller scale.
Johns said the committe won’t know if there’s enough money left to work on the surface of the track adjacent to the school until the gym floors are finished and other projects are settled. “Our hope is always to have enough money to resurface the track,” he said of the funding. “At this point, it looks like it’s probably too close to call.”
According to Charles Warrington of Colliers International Project Management, after the gym floor replacement, roughly $150,000 will be left in the building committee’s reserves. However, that number is just an estimate.
The town’s public works department has also looked into refurbishing the track, but it has not yet been determined who will take on the project and when.
“It’s within our scope of work and we certainly want to do it, but if the town wanted to take it on as a project they certainly could too,” Johns said.
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