On the mezzanine level of the Parkview Auditorium, the weight room was sitting empty of any weights on Thursday afternoon, as the sights and sounds of the Sacred Hoops basketball camp filtered from the gym below up through the room's metal cage walls.
The weights had been moved to the north side of the mezzanine. The room's rubber floor mats had been peeled up and stacked to the side.
The visible cracks in the floor, which have developed over the years, are the reason the weight room has been cleared out. In a few weeks, according to district Superintendent Joel Price, Peutz Construction (it's pronounced "pits") will start work on a project to replace the concrete.
Motorists driving past Parkview on US-83 will likely notice when the work starts, because of the construction vehicles and the staging of material in the parking lot, Price said. The work will take around three weeks, Price said.
The project has to be completed before the start of school, which is the third week of August. The exact start date, now scheduled for July 19, will be a topic of discussion between Peutz Construction and district staff.
The work will cost around $70,000 to $80,000, Price said. Peutz was the only firm to respond to the district's request for proposals, he said. The engineering firm on the project is KMS Engineering. Last year's June school board meeting minutes say:
"Keith Stroh of KMS Engineering, Structural Engineering Consultants, presented a rebuild plan for the Parkview Mezzanine weight room floor. Discussion followed. It was decided that the Buildings & Grounds committee consisting of Shannon Schweitzer and Gary Johnson, along with Dr. Price and Tom O’Boyle will meet to explore alternate options for the weight room."
(O’Boyle resigned as principal in May. Johnson left the board starting in July, because he did not seek re-election. Schweitzer is continuing on the board as president.)
Last fall, Price said, a first step was taken to address the structural issues with the concrete floor. That step was to move the supports for the basketball backboard from the mezzanine floor, where they had been attached, to the roof beams.
The area of the floor around the backboard attachments was the first place a school custodian had noticed some cracking in the concrete. The cracks were first thought to have been caused by the repeated raising and lowering of the backboard.
Closer examination by Stroh revealed that the cracks extended all the way to the outside wall along the west side of the building. They likely were caused by the repeated crashing of weights onto the floor in the weight room, which was set up 10-15 years ago, Price said. The mezzanine was not designed to house a weight room, Price said.
Price described the project as demolishing the existing concrete, and pouring a new pad. There'll be dampers and pads between the weights and the concrete where the weights are set up, so there’ll be some shock absorption, Price said. The concrete also will be thicker – 6 inches compared to 4, he said.
The mezzanine floor project was part of Price's regular report delivered to the school board at its regular July meeting on Monday.