NORDONIA HILLS — Northfield Elementary School’s gym floor "took a turn for the worse" and must be replaced, costing the district about $40,000, according to the district’s superintendent.

"The age of the floor, the high humidity of the summer, and the lack of a vapor barrier have caused the floor to drastically warp and peel this summer," said Superintendent Joe Clark. "The floor registered at 99 percent vapor emissions coming through the concrete subfloor; acceptable industry levels are 80 percent or less. The high level of vapor emissions requires sandblasting a thin layer off of the existing subfloor and painting over it with a thick, tar-like barrier compound."

Because of this, the district has decided to replace, rather than patch, the gym floor, Clark said.

"That means our budget for repairs at Northfield is totally depleted only one month into the fiscal year," Clark said. "We will have to increase our budget before we do the final appropriations in September to help us make it through the year. Remember that because we have no PI levy, all district expenditures come from our general fund."

The district’s permanent improvement levy expired in 2011, meaning all repairs will have to be paid for from the general operating budget.

The gym is used for gym classes, assemblies and community youth volleyball and basketball, Clark said. It is also being used by Champions this summer, which is the district’s before- and after-care program.

Work to the gym floor will include "correct vapor barrier above the concrete/below the flooring, and will prevent the floor from bubbling/peeling in the future," Clark said.

"It will also have built-in basketball and volleyball lines, so we won’t have the additional expense and maintenance of painted lines," Clark said. "There is the option to patch at an approximate cost of $6,000 to 8,000, but the contractor does not recommend it. For them to warranty the patch work, they’d only vapor barrier that portion, which would cause issues to the other portions of the floor over time."

Clark explained the floor was installed during renovations in 2001 and was designed to last 10 years. In 2011, when the floor should have been replaced, Clark said the district was on the verge of state takeover because of its precarious financial status.

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