Swansea School Department to replace damaged high school gymnasium floor – News – The Herald News, Fall River, MA

A flaming gymnasium floor at Joseph Case High School has led engineers to discover traces of asbestos in the glue underneath, and the replacement will cost the school department at least $ 280,000.

A flaming gymnasium floor at Joseph Case High School has led engineers to discover traces of asbestos in the glue underneath, and the replacement will cost the school department at least $ 280,000.

Deputy Superintendent of Schools Robert Monteiro, responsible for coordinating the project, said traces of asbestos were not considered harmful to gym users. Usually, asbestos is a hazard when it flakes and can be inhaled.

The school department has sent a letter to the Massachusetts School Building Association to find out if they can get emergency funding. Otherwise, a loan for the full amount will be used to pay for the replacement of the floor.

“We need a gymnasium,” Monteiro told the school committee last week. “It is the central point of the school. It is the only place where we can accommodate all the students.

Monteiro said humidity and age are the cause of soil deformation over the years.

Holes were drilled in the ground to test if the moisture was coming from the groundwater below, but it was determined that was not. Monteiro said there was a layer of sand under the ground to keep the area dry.

Monteiro said the engineer’s report concluded that the humid air in the gymnasium was due to the air intake system. It circulates indoor air with outdoor air and recirculates it in the gym. The air intake system will need to be replaced to maintain the new flooring.

The current floor is maple and was installed in 1975. Underneath the floor is a layer of tar paper and cork glued to cement.

Because of the asbestos, the demolition will require asbestos removal, which will cost between $ 100,000 and $ 130,000. The cost of direct demolition would have been approximately $ 30,000.

Monteiro said the bidding process has started. The project will take place in four stages, starting with logging and demolition. A new maple floor will then be installed, then new seats and, finally, a new air intake system.

The new floor will have an air space between the floor and the cement for better air circulation. It will also benefit athletes using the floor by offering more donations.

Monteiro said the project had an expected completion date in late November, in time for the basketball season. Plans have been made for the women’s volleyball team to play in junior high school in the fall.

Email Deborah Allard at dallard@heraldnews.com.


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