(Dayton, NJ – June 2017) A high school gymnasium is more than a room where sports, meetings, and activities take place: it’s also thought of as the heart and soul of educational communities across the nation. When Passaic High School (Passaic, NJ) lost use of their gym last December due to a moisture-soaked, buckled floor caused by steam emanating from the boiler room below, it rapidly became a crisis scenario. A roof leak further complicated the situation and contributed to the gym floor’s rapid deterioration. The Gillespie Group, an NJ-based company with decades of school flooring installation expertise, was able to promptly remedy the problem.
Barry Stein, Business Administrator for the Passaic School District, needed a replacement flooring solution that could address the moisture problem, be installed quickly, and of course, achieve an absolutely level gym floor. The Gillespie Group, a member of the New Jersey State Approved Co-Op of The Educational Services Commission of New Jersey (ESCNJ), was recommended, and based upon the Company’s suggested approach, was subsequently awarded the project.
John Gillespie, Vice President of Operations for The Gillespie Group stated, “We know how critical the gym is to a school from a functional standpoint, and its close connection to school pride and spirit. It puts a logistical strain on the entire school when the gym cannot be used.”
The Gillespie Group recommended UZIN® Flooring: a reliable, self-leveling base floor that spreads evenly, and is designed for moisture control conditions like the one at Passaic High School. UZIN® had been successfully utilized by The Gillespie Group for several similar school-based flooring projects in the past. The firm has extensive experience with complex flooring installations for schools and educational facilities throughout New Jersey. Gillespie added, “We work with UZIN® regularly, as the product is reliable and consistent in terms of installation and long-term performance.”
A logistics plan was created by Gillespie and Stein to address the challenges and complete the project within a very aggressive six-week timeframe. The approach required the removal of the existing gym flooring, shot blasting, working around the bleacher areas, and a schedule that allotted three weeks to cure the 2.5” UZIN base prior to the finished floor installation. In addition to installing UZIN®, The Gillespie Group managed the entire new floor installation as a turnkey project.
MAINTAINING AN IDEAL BALANCE
Wood expands and contracts based upon the amount of moisture in the air. If excessive moisture gets into a wood floor, it will cause the floor to either cup or crown. Cupping occurs when individual boards bend upward at the edges because they have run out of space to expand horizontally due to moisture intake (a “U” shape). Crowning is the opposite – the center of the board bends upward, making the middle higher than the edges (an upside down “U” shape).
The Gillespie Group suggests the following regimen to properly maintain gymnasium wood floors:
- DAILY: Sweeping with a dust mop coated with approved maintenance products will keep the floor surface free from dust, grit and abrasive particles. Keep all walk off mats clean.
- MONTHLY: Remove foreign debris and clean entire floor with approved floor cleaner.
- ANNUALLY: Inspect the surface and re-coat with a new coat of finish at least once a year.
- ONGOING: Maintain the gymnasium HVAC system at a temperature range of 55-80 degrees, and 35-50% relative humidity.
The Passaic High School gym’s flooring project was completed in the six-week timeline, and the school district was delighted with the results. “The UZIN® flooring provided the perfect moisture-absorbent base to solve our problem, and the gym was ready in time for the first volleyball game of the tournament. The Gillespie Group’s knowledge and workmanship was amazing.” Stein concluded. Kimberly Kenny, Athletic Director for Passaic High School also noted favorable feedback from parents and athletes of various sports as to the quality of the new floor.