SCARBOROUGH —Workers began ripping up a water-damaged wood floor last week in Scarborough High School’s Plummer Gymnasium.
The floor became badly warped after a sprinkler pipe in a first-floor suspended ceiling froze and burst last Dec. 23. Thousands of gallons from the ruptured pipe soaked ceiling tiles and drywall on parts of two floors.
But the most serious damage occurred in the gym when water seeped through the floor and into the cushioning beneath. The absorbent padding acted like a sponge, wicking away the water and trapping it next to the underside of the wood. The floor was ruined, despite the fans and heaters a professional cleaning crew used in an attempt to dry it out.
Since the incident, Plummer Gym has been closed, forcing all activities into the newer gym and disrupting cheerleading and wrestling practices.
Now, more than two months later, damage to the walls and ceilings has been repaired, School Department Facilities Manager Norman Justice said. But installation of the new floor has just gotten underway and will take until sometime in April to complete, he said.
Just removing the floor, cushioned underlayment and installation track takes about a week. Then workers must lay the new floor, sand it, seal it and paint it, allowing ample drying time between steps.
Though Justice would never have wished this on the school and the students affected by it, he’s excited by the new product that will replace the 20-year-old flooring.
“It has a lot of green features and uses recycled materials,” he said. “This is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) compliant product and has the resiliency you look for in a floor.”
The floor is a new product by Connor Sports Flooring called Green Play. Scarborough High School will be the first public high school in the country to sport the new brand, which the company looks forward to showing off, Justice said.
“We anticipate bringing in engineers and architects in the area to see the product as it’s installed,” he said.
With its recycled sneaker cushioning system, recycled engineered polymer sub-floor panels and wood components free of added urea-formaldehyde, the floor could be considered cutting edge in the green athletic systems world. But at a cost of $102,500, the system is nearly $30,000 less than a flooring quote obtained from a competitor and the materials and labor are completely covered by the school’s insurance, Justice said. To make it more attractive, he said, the company upped its standard 1-year warranty to five years. The competitors’ warranties were all for one year.
“We hope athletes will notice the difference, the resilience,” Justice said. “I remember when we first moved into the alumni gym; there was a basketball tournament and they (the players) commented on how soft the floor was. I expect this floor to be equal to that or better.”
Peggy Roberts can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
School Department Facilities Manager Norman Justice checks on the progress of the installation of the new floor in the Scarborough High School’s Plummer Gymnasium. The old wood floor was damaged beyond repair when a pipe burst last December. (Roberts photo)
Workers last week began tearing up Scarborough High School’s Plummer Gymnasium floor. The wood floor warped when a sprinkler pipe froze and burst last December. (Roberts photo)