The Whiteoak High School gymnasium is currently undergoing a significant facelift, as a new wood floor is being installed at the facility. Cincinnati Floor Company (CFC) was contracted to perform the tear down of the old floor and the installation of the new floor. The Bright Local School District (BLSD) has also entered into a maintenance agreement with CFC for annual maintenance and prevention measures.
CFC is a locally owned flooring installation and maintenance company based in St. Bernard, Ohio. The company has been in business since 1894 as an installer and manufacturer of wood flooring. According to the company’s website CFC has installed numerous gym floors locally as well as nationally including the practice courts for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA and historic Assembly Hall on the campus of Indiana University (Bloomington).
The project will cost the BLSD $150,000 all of which, according to BLSD superintendent Ted Downing, has been fully funded through the general fund of the district. Downing told The Times-Gazette that the floor “should last up to 50 years” as long as it is taken care of and maintained properly.
The BLSD Board of Education decided to move forward with this project after it was discovered, during the last school year, that the wood panels were beginning to break and that it was likely they would continue to break if something was not done to remedy the problem. “We looked at things and figured if we don’t replace it we are going to keep nickel and diming. It needs to be fixed,” said Downing. Downing also pointed out that the roof on the gym, and other parts of the school, was leaking leading to the accelerated deterioration of the gym floor. Downing also said, “When they took everything out of here there was still water sitting on the concrete under the gym floor. They had to delay work on the new floor by a week to let it dry before they started the installation project.”
Because of the differences in concrete pouring practices and advanced technology that is used to level the concrete in the present day CFC has had to re-laser and readjust every board that has been placed to fit the gym floor.
Along with the new floor the gym has also been the recipient of new backboards, new lights, an air conditioning system, and new visitor’s side bleachers. The money that the BLSD will save by using LED lighting throughout the school is being used to help fund the air conditioning system not only in the gymnasium but also in other parts of the school. “The installation of the new air conditioning system in the gym is one of the key aspects of maintaining this floor for a long time. The climate controlled environment will allow the wood to avoid a tremendous amount of the stress the old floor had to endure simply by allowing the wood to not draw moisture and extending the overall life span of the floor,” Downing told The Times-Gazette.
The district has also undertaken several other improvement projects in the last few years including the re-paving of the school parking lots and the construction of a soccer field. Downing advised that “if there are enough kids we are going to be using the soccer field this coming year.” There are also plans to build a batting facility for the baseball and softball teams, the facility will be located behind Whiteoak High School.
When asked about the impact the improved facilities will have on the athletes at the school Downing said, “First of all, if you don’t take care of your facilities how are you doing to have any pride in them? If you have pride in where you play and what you are in it means a lot more to you.” Downing went on to say, “It’s like your home, you cannot let your home go and not do stuff. Since I came on board the Board of Education and the treasurer and myself have all been working together and we are getting stuff done. We are trying to bring back a lot of the pride that had gotten away for a while.”
The gym floor was started on June 1 and is expected to be finished by August 1 for the start of the 2017 volleyball season. “If the floor is not finished by then we can practice in the elementary school gym. There are advantages to having a second gym,” Downing said.
Along with the improvements to the facilities the district also intends to offer bowling as a varsity sport in 2017 and will be offering more classes at the high school for the 2017 school year.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.