BAR HARBOR — A portion of the floor in the Conners Emerson School gymnasium has been covered with wrestling mats since last winter, following water damage to the floor, but school officials hope repairs will be complete in time to host at least a few home basketball games this year.
Principal Barb Neilly speculated that the water could have been a result of blasting done last year.
“We had water come up through the floor, [and] we still haven’t been able to determine [the] cause of water after several engineers, architects, water tests and folks from the water department,” Neilly said in an email. “We installed a sump pump during the spring, [and] this past summer, we dug a trench which allowed the water to drain into the town drains.”
The damage forced the school to cover the whole floor with wrestling mats, allowing for gym classes to take place. Basketball games, however, had to be moved.
“Other schools and the YMCA were helpful last year in hosting our basketball games,” Neilly said. “This year, we will be using the YMCA and hope to be able to host home games before the end of the season.”
The school has advertised for bids to replace the floor and will open bids on Dec. 1. The bid will be awarded at the school committee meeting on Dec. 4.
While the final cost of the repairs will be confirmed when a bid is accepted, an estimate given to school committee members said that repairs to the gym floor and bleachers, which also need to be replaced, would cost around $150,000.
Neilly said that the floor will be a rubber synthetic surface, which she said needs less annual maintenance than a traditional wood floor.
“It’s not the cheapest option,” Neilly said. “But, it’s the best option.”
Neilly said she consulted with an architect and expected the repairs to the floor would take a total of three weeks. But she said that it would be done in phases, so the time would be stretched.
The school fund has a $454,000 carryover from the 2017 budget. This money, however, would have to be reallocated by the Bar Harbor Town Council if it were to be used for capital projects. The school instead plans to use capital improvement plan reserves, which Neilly said would be “decimated,” to pay for the work.
Neilly said that repairs to the floor and bleachers would be done before town meeting in June 2018.