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McDermott May 2016

(Provided photos)

After decades of pounding by tens of thousands of sneakered feet, it was time for a gym floor makeover at Parker Junior High.

South Gym – one of two venues at the Flossmoor school for basketball, volleyball, badminton and other indoor sports activities – got its turn this summer. Crews concluded the renovation this week, applying two coats of finish on the floor after it was sanded and new lines for athletic contests were painted.

Scott Stachacz, director of buildings and grounds for Flossmoor School District 161, said South Gym’s maple floor had not been resurfaced for 15 or 20 years.

“It’s recommended that this type of work is done every eight years,” he said. “So this was long overdue.”

South Gym is smaller than its counterpart on the other side of the building and it mostly used for physical education classes and team practices. So the resurfacing went relatively quickly, Stachacz said, with crews arriving on June 17 and completing the final phase of the project about 10 days later.

Sporting events are held at North Gym, which has bleachers and is also used for concerts and assemblies. North Gym’s floor was resurfaced last summer. It’s a bigger space and the project took longer; the Parker logo was painted in the middle of the floor and crews had to work around the bleachers.

At South Gym, four crews from Specialty Floors, of Rockford, participated in the resurfacing.

First, a four-member crew sanded the floor. They made multiple passes, Stachacz said, and used four different grades of sandpaper – from very coarse to extra fine. For the most part, they rode on sanding machines in the gym. For corners, and harder-to-reach places, they used hand sanders. The sanding took one day.

The sanding crew removed about 1/32nd of an inch from the floor’s surface, he said.

Three other crews worked on sealing the floor, taping and painting different-colored lines for the various sports and putting down the finish. Stachacz said it will take about a week for the finish to completely dry.

The South Gym resurfacing cost $12,000, which Stachacz called “a very good price.”

Specialty Floors does about 600 resurfacing projects each summer.  After finishing at Parker, the sanding crew was heading toward DePaul University, where they were going to work on a basketball court, he said.

Stachacz said he reserved the Specialty Floors crews in February.

“Everyone wants to resurface their gym floors during the summer, when students aren’t around,” he said. “So you’ve to sign up early.”

A Specialty Floors crew also performed a one-day “screen and finish” at the North Gym this month, Stachacz said. The process is an annual maintenance upkeep of a wood gym floor. The floor is “screened” with a relatively abrasive pad on a swinging, floor scrubbing machine to smooth it out and rough it up so the “finish” – a single coat of polyurethane-based seal – can be applied to protect the floor and restore its shine.

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