Safety Concerns Mean New Gym Floor at KHS


Brianna Gibbs/KMXT

A new gym floor is in the works for Kodiak High School, potentially further displacing some athletic teams until December. During Thursday’s Borough Assembly meeting Borough Manager Bud Cassidy told the assembly that he authorized a change order in the high school construction and renovation project, one that would completely replace the gym floor.
Cassidy said the original plan was to simply sand the floor, but after 25 years of sanding, it was discovered that very little of the original maple floor was left.
“Yeah, what happens is every so many years the floor is sanded to get rid of the scratches, primarily, but also to address split boards, broken boards, those kinds of things. What we found out is that over 25 years it has been sanded down so much that what was left was a real fragile surface that was splintering and we provided the assembly with a number of pictures of the splintering that occurred all around the gym floor.”
Borough code allows the manager to issue up to $200,000 worth of change orders for a project, so the $196,000 gym floor didn’t need assembly approval. However, Cassidy made sure the assembly was informed of the change, and provided pictures and information about what he said is really a safety concern.
“Well if you’ve watched basketball or volleyball or participated in a city league program, there’s a lot of folks diving on the floor, sliding on the floor, falling on the floor and just the risk of the splinters was just too much.”

During Thursday’s meeting Cassidy said now is actually perfect time to replace the floor, since renovations were already planned for the area.
“We’re not sanding, we were just about ready to sand the existing floor, so we did not have to do that. We also do not have the bleachers in the gym, so we do not have to remove the bleachers which can be an expensive cost.”)
While the price tag for the new floor may seem high, Cassidy said other parts of the high school project have come in under budget, which will help offset the $196,000.
“Probably the saving grace is we’ve in the course of construction we have saved close to $500,000 by doing things differently so we have an additional $500,000 of savings that will be used for things like this gym floor. So the overall contract isn’t more with Watterson.”
While a new gym is great news for its future users, it’s bad news for sports teams that were hoping to use it this fall. When the gym was only slated for sanding it was thought that it would be ready to go in time for the first home volleyball games in October. However, Cassidy estimates the new plan will push that back to December, meaning the volleyball team will have to continue playing in the middle school gym.

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