Daily Independent, Ashland, May 31, 2017
School’s new gym floor to be installed soon
Summit Elementary wins online contest
BY MIKE JAMES
SUMMIT - Installation of a new floor in the Summit Elementary School gymnasium is set for the end of June or early July, and it is all thanks to parents, staff and other school boosters.
Summit is getting the floor for free, courtesy of a company that specializes in sports flooring.
Gerflor USA sponsored a contest last year in which schools competed for a free floor by soliciting online votes, and Summit supporters came through with a massive majority.
The flooring is constructed of a material that resembles the wood laminate used in homes, but which employs a backing that is shock absorbing and fire resistant, according to Principal Ben Maynard.
Summit’s floor will have a cherry finish. “I don’t know if we could have asked for a better floor,” he said.
The gym also is getting a new coat of paint, which the district will pay for, he said. The district also will pay a company to move bleachers and then reinstall them once the flooring job is done. That piece of the project comes at an opportune time because the bleachers are on schedule for inspection anyway, Maynard said.
The Summit gym, along with the gyms at Catlettsburg Elementary and the old high school building, also will get LED lighting using fixtures that were already on hand, according to Superintendent Brock Walter.
The fixtures, which are about five years old, were removed from the Boyd County Middle School gym when it was renovated and have been in storage.
The LED fixtures are brighter and use considerably less energy, which will mean betterlit gyms and thousands of dollars in electricity savings, Walter said.
The installation will take between one and two weeks. Once installed, it will be ready to use, but there are no games or functions scheduled during the summer break so it will have time to settle, Maynard said.
The new floor replaces one that, while sound, was made of a synthetic material that because of repeated refinishings was extremely slick.
The slick floor was not dangerous for day-to-day use, but coaches and physical education teachers modified practice routines for safety and Summit didn’t use it for games.
With the new floor in, Summit can resume hosting ball games and its shock-absorbing properties will make it safer for ankles, knees and other joints. Children will be able to run on it with less danger of falling, Maynard said. It also will be safer for family events.
Summit is the newest of Boyd County’s elementaries, and because the district has higher building and maintenance priorities, the district wouldn’t have been in a position to pay for a new gym floor, Walter said.
“It’s the opportunity to put a brand-new floor we wouldn’t have been able to do for at least 10 years or even more,” he said.
The district will save still more because the surface requires less maintenance, he said.
When Gerflor put out a call for grant applications last fall, Maynard submitted one. Summit beat a middle school in Northern California and a YMCA in Connecticut based on votes from supporters.