Wa­ter da­mage closes main gym floor at West­wood Sr.

School board in talks with roo­fing contrac­tor

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

TIt’s consi­de­red the “new gym” at West­wood Sr. High School in Hud­son, but it has been clo­sed to stu­dents and staff since Sep­tem­ber.

he more than 10-year-old woo­den gym­na­sium floor in a ne­wer sec­tion of the school is being to­tal­ly re­pla­ced af­ter wa­ter da­ma­ged se­ve­ral large floor sec­tions, as well as portions of the cei­ling above.

The ins­tal­la­tion of a brand new floor and work to re­pair the cei­ling be­gan about two weeks ago.

Crews have pul­led double shifts when pos­sible, ac­cor­ding to school prin­ci­pal Sheila Ho­ney­borne.

Bar­ring any un­fo­re­seen de­lays, the new­ly re­fur­bi­shed gym is ex­pec­ted to be open to the school’s 700 plus student bo­dy by the end of De­cem­ber.

But who is going to pay an es­ti­ma­ted $125,000 to $200,000 bill for the work re­mains to be seen.

Ca­rol Hef­fer­nan, As­sis­tant Di­rec­tor Ge­ne­ral for the Les­ter B. Pear­son School Board, said the board is in talks with a contrac­tor whose crew was re­pla­cing a por­tion of the roof over the gym around the time the leak oc­cur­red.

Da­ma­ged floor

A crew from the school board ins­pec­ted the da­mage af­ter se­ve­ral portions of the floor were tho­rough­ly soa­ked. The crew la­ter said a large amount of wa­ter had been col­lec­ting in the cei­ling for a while be­fore it was re­lea­sed in a rush on­to the floor.

Though the wa­ter was eva­cua­ted as soon as pos­sible, portions of the woo­den floor had to be cut away in or­der to de­ter­mine the extent of the da­mage.

There was al­so a concern about the for­ma­tion of mould, though board and school of­fi­cials be­lieve a ti­me­ly clea­nup aver­ted the pos­si­bi­li­ty. No mould tes­ting was ever done. Hef­fer­nan says they think wa­ter came in through ex­po­sed sec­tions of the roof that were left open to the ele­ments when the roof was being re­done in late Au­gust and ear­ly Sep­tem­ber.

“The contrac­tor had not fi­ni­shed the job and (that) sec­tion took lon­ger to fi­nish than we first thought,” Hef­fer­nan ex­plai­ned.

Be­cause of the po­ten­tial dan­ger to stu­dents - from the mis­sing sec­tions of floor - it was de­ci­ded to close the gym­na­sium en­ti­re­ly. The loss of the main gym has meant phy­si­cal edu­ca­tion classes, in­tra­mu­ral and af­ter school sports are being held in the school’s old gym.

Get­ting use of the pri­ma­ry gym­na­sium back can’t come soon enough, Ho­ney­borne said.

Cal­ling the school’s phy­si­cal edu­ca­tion staff “real troo­pers” for their flexi­bi­li­ty and crea­ti­vi­ty, Ho­ney­borne said the tea­chers have rol­led with the punches.

“The ne­wer gym was large enough to ac­com­mo­date two classes at the same time,” she said, ad­ding, “The ol­der gym is al­most 100 years old and is much smal­ler, so it’s been more dif­fi­cult.”

Ho­ney­borne hopes un­sea­so­na­bly warm wea­ther, which has al­lo­wed tea­chers to of­fer out­door fit­ness classes, will conti­nue un­til the new floor is rea­dy.

On the up­side, once the new hard­wood floor is ins­tal­led, it will be pain­ted to in­clude the West­wood Wild­cats lo­go at its centre. The old floor did not have a lo­go.

“The tea­chers and coaches as­ked about that and I said ‘why not,’ that’s so­me­thing good that’s going to come out of all this,” Ho­ney­borne said.

PHOTOTHÈQUE

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