SUMMIT: Kindergartners romping in the Summit Elementary gymnasium like to tear across the floor at a dead run, drop to their knees and slide the next 10 feet like demented rock stars on the main stage at Lollapalooza.
Which is a lot of fun but illustrates why the floor is not up to standard and needs to be replaced.
The 18-year-old floor is made of a synthetic material popular in the 1990s for its affordability and durability, principal Ben Maynard said.
But because of faulty refinishing over the years, the floor is extremely slick, so much so that the school doesn’t use it for basketball games. Coaches modify their practice routines and some community activities are scheduled elsewhere in the name of safety.
“I could sell tickets as an ice-skating rink,” Maynard said.
Replacing the gym floor at the newest elementary in the Boyd County district is easier said than done, considering the district is in the midst of a complete middle school renovation and has higher priority repair needs at its other elementaries.
So when Maynard heard about a potential offer for a free resurfacing job from a major flooring company, he made the call right away.
Gerflor USA, which specializes in sports flooring, was soliciting grant applications and would select one school or community center. A jury of experts would narrow the field of applicants to three finalists.
Public voting via social media would determine the winner.
Maynard learned in late October Summit would be one of the three finalists and since then has launched a campaign for votes.
The other two finalists include a middle school in Northern California and a YMCA in Connecticut.
There is a link on the company’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/GerflorUSA, for casting votes.
If Summit gets the floor it would be a modern laminate product designed to withstand multi-purpose use and with injury prevention in mind.
The current floor isn’t dangerous but coaches and physical education teachers have to maintain heightened vigilance while children are on it.
The district’s elementary basketball leagues can’t use it for games for fear children in the heat of competition would slip or cause others to slip.
Coaches that use it for practice modify some drills to slow children down, which makes the exercises less effective, Maynard said.
“It’s so slippery that kids go home with holes in their pants from sliding on it,” physical education teacher Stacy Davis said.
Maynard also expects easier maintenance and lower maintenance costs.
In previous seasons maintenance workers had tried a finishing technique that reduced the slipperiness but it was expensive and the effect diminished after a few months. Continuous re-application wasn’t affordable, Maynard said.
Voters can alert their Facebook friends by sharing the voting link. No other schools in the area are under consideration for the flooring, and Maynard hopes people across the district and in other districts will vote for Summit as a gesture of goodwill.
The deadline for voting is Nov. 23.
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