Central Collegiate’s Duct Taped Gym Floor


Robert Thomas

“This patch job is like slicing the jugular and fixing it with a band aid. You aren't going to stop the bleeding. This floor is done and it needs to be replaced,” was the message brought to Prairie South School Division board by a delegation of staff, students and parents. The group approached the board in hopes of having an estimated $200,000 allocated to replace the 1961 vintage hardwood floor before the 2018-2019 school year.

The delegation stressed the impact the poor state of the hardwood flooring was having on school and other activities.

“I'm worried about it…it's tattered and there are nails sticking up. As a volleyball player, you have to be worried about safety rather than playing the sport,” Jordan Woodley told the board.

Physical education teacher Collin Belsher said the deteriorated state of the flooring was taking away from instruction time.

“It's almost to the point it's embarrassing; not just from an eyesore perspective but it is not safe. As mentioned, I have hammered in a bunch of nails. It was to a point I was going around pre-class and hammering in nails, during my class when it should be my instruction time I am busy maintaining the floor,” Belsher claimed.

Sherry Tangen said the board should look at replacing the floor without waiting for fundraising to raise sufficient cash. Fundraising was on-going but sufficient funds could not be raised immediately.

“If the boiler went down at the school when it was -40C it would be replaced, we wouldn't have to fundraise for it,” Tangen stated.

Work has been done to repair the 29 identified problem areas where slides shown to the board showed problem areas patched with tape.

Trustee Jan Radwanski said they had been made aware of the issue and some repairs had been completed. 

Radwanski stated that a survey was done of the floor and with repairs “we were given the opinion it's still OK to use it in it's present state.”

The sub-committee had been told the floor was three-quarters of an inch thick and could be refurbished, he stated.

Earlier in the presentation, the board was told the floor could no longer be refurbished.

“The last time it was refinished, the person (who did the work) this is it…it's gone from a certain thickness to not being able to be refinished anymore. Big chunks of the floor have been coming out that have been taped over,” Sherry Tangen said.

“This facility is used consistently and this floor is done,” Tangen told trustees.

Central Collegiate principal Stephane Gauvin said the floor had come up as an Occupational Health and Safety issue. “It's deemed to be a dangerous area,” Gauvin said.

In the agenda, two letters described serious safety concerns with the Collegiate’s gym floor. 

In a letter from Central Collegiate’s School Community Council the board was informed the 1961 vintage hardwood floor had serious safety concerns.

The Community Council pointed out how in six or seven areas the hardwood floor was breaking and literally held together with tape. Nails were said to be "tending to stick out" and had to be monitored and hammered in to prevent injuries.

The Community Council letter stated they had “been working towards fundraising for it's replacement but we also want to make known we feel it needs to be replaced before next school year.”

In 2017, the Strengthening Our Legacy Fundraising Committee at Central Collegiate was struck to raise funds for gymnasium renovations. The fundraising was set up in two phases.

Phase One was conversion of the stage area into a multi-purpose classroom supporting physical education and arts education programs as well as housing a new weight room. The Committee had raised $40,000 to cover Phase One and the project was reported completed and operational. 

In an email to Board Chairman Tim McLeod, committee member Wendy Vincent wrote the floor was “quickly becoming a safety concern.”

Vincent went on to state the dilapidated hardwood flooring could become a legal issue.

“It is only a matter of time before a player trips over some of the broken down areas of the floor and it becomes a liability issue for the school and Prairie South School Division,” she wrote.

Presently, the plans do not call for floor replacement but sanding and refinishing the flooring.

The board will now discuss the delegations concerns and decide whether to refurbish the floor or replace it. The delegation will be informed of the decision and budget process for possible floor replacement via letter.

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