PHOENIXVILLE - The water-damaged Phoenixville Area High School wood gymnasium floor is going to be completely replaced.

Phoenixville Area School Board members decided at Thursday's meeting to replace the whole floor rather than only the damaged portion.

Replacement of the entire approximate 10,000-square-foot wood floor will cost $100,000, with an out-of-pocket expense to the district of $56,000, after insurance reimbursement.

The cost of the project will be paid for with the Capital Fund. The Capital Fund is budgeted yearly and is used to pay for long-term maintenance projects.

The Phoenixville Fire Department and the Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company responded to an alarm at the PAHS at approximately noon on Sunday, Jan. 11. The flooding was apparently caused by a malfunctioning steam heater that spilled water into a hallway. Water eventually reached the gym flooring from beneath a doorway.

"To replace half of the floor we have to cut out the damaged parts, replace these boards, go through and resand, seal and repaint," said Joanne Doherty, athletic trainer and interim athletic manager. "If you're going to go thorough all that it's more beneficial to replace the entire floor at one time."

Ron Miller, director of operations, said that the district wanted the floor to match and not look like it was "pieced together."

Chambers and Son of Malvern will be hired by the district to replace the floor with pine and maple.

The district has tentatively decided to delay the installation of the floor until after post prom parties on Friday and Saturday, April 23 and 24. This would allow physical education classes to continue to use a part of the gym, up to a time when classes might be moved outside.

Miller expects that replacement will completely close the gym for six to seven weeks. He said that a late April start might give contractors time to finish the project by the end of the school year. Such a schedule would allow summer camps to use the facility.

The gym had recently suffered from water damage three times. A year and a half ago a contractor error during renovations led to a water release which required floor replacement.

During the last year a pipe leaked into the women's locker room but no floor replacement was needed.

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