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School gym floor finished
Written by Greg Ruland   
Tuesday, 27 December 2011 00:00

The warped, twisted floorboards in the gym at Cottonwood Middle School have been replaced with new hardwood, sanded to a fine finish, which will soon receive a new coat of stain and protectant.

When students return from winter break, the new gym floor should be polished to a gleaming gold and ready for boys basketball to begin, CMS Vice Principal and Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Athletic Director Bill Sanderlin said.

Carlos Sals paints the measurements for the long jump on the brand new Cottonwood Middle School gym floor Wednesday,  Dec. 14. The old floor was destroyed the weekend before the school year began due to a flooding problem.A flood from the roof caused by a broken float valve in a swamp cooler was responsible for the destruction, which forced middle school athletic programs like girls basketball and volleyball to practice at other gyms, including Cotton Recreation Center and Tavasci Elementary School, Sanderlin said.

Teams played all of their games away from home as well.

Sanderlin said a group of men who practiced basketball on Sundays in the gym arrived to find the flood. They immediately set to cleaning, including mopping the entire gym and locating areas where water was coming from.

“Because the water kept running over the weekend of Aug. 6 and 7, it flooded pretty deeply,” Sanderlin said. “The water was soaked into the wood by the time we found it and it was already starting to warp.”

Occurring just a week before the school opened in the fall, the flood caused all gym activities to be put on hold until repairs could be completed.

Sanderlin thanked area schools and the city of Cottonwood for making it possible for CMS athletic programs to continue despite the mishap.

He also thanked the parents of student athletes who were forced to transport their children to games and practices outside of CMS.

“The parents were very cooperative considering the inconvenience and so were the other schools we played,” Sanderlin said. “It worked out OK.”

There are at least two reasons it took more than four months to complete the work: Damage to the floors and walls was extensive, and inspections, certifications and a clean bill of health had to be acquired before work could begin.

For example, before the floor could be replaced, environmental consultants were called to inspect the roof, walls and floors of the gym to ensure there was no mold damage. Everything checked out, he said.

The new floor will be put to good use.

“We still have a sixth-grade basketball season and they will be able to use the new gym floor. [Cottonwood] Parks and Recreation [Department] will use it for different things like little kids basketball league,” Sanderlin said.

The school has taken every precaution to make sure a similar flood won’t take place in the future, he said.

“Our maintenance department has worked really hard to check this roof out. They checked all the coolers out. They found some potential places for leaks and made repairs. They really were up there for days with hoses checking, hunting and looking for leaks.”


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