By Anna Jauhola
After a water pipe broke in January at Lancaster School, the east gymnasium floor was left with damage. It was repairable, but the repair did not go as well as it should have.
The east gym is used for basketball games each year, but with the poor repair, the remainder of the basketball season had to be played in Hallock.
“It’s tough for our community because you lose that exposure,” said Superintendent Shannon Hunstad. “We were hopeful they were going to mesh it up. We wouldn’t have our boundaries, but we could play our games.”
Thankfully, insurance fully covers the repairs and the gym floor will be redone this coming summer. But, this has left students out some fundraising, particularly the juniors who man the concessions stand and 50/50 draws during games to build their senior trip fund.
“But Hallock’s been super receptive and helpful with us,” Hunstad said. “They’ve let our kids come over and do the 50/50s.”
The Lancaster junior class will receive money from the insurance claim to make up for what they lost, he added.
The gym floor, which is made of finished plywood, had just been refinished last summer, Hunstad said. When the pipe burst, water seeped under the floor and caused swelling and other issues.
A pipe froze causing a water leak which caused insulation to fall and break the sub-ceiling in the weight room. Water started flooding the hallway around 12:30 a.m.
“When that fell down we were at 30 below zero,” Hunstad said. “We have a drain in that area so it was draining until the drain got backed up and plugged. And then it ventured down the hallway and to the gym floor.”
School officials didn’t discover the issue until 7 o’clock that morning.
Hunstad and Mike Whitlock started vacuuming up the water immediately and placed fans to dry out the area.
Insurance Agent Steve Sjostrand came right away to inspect the damage and provided great support throughout the process, Hunstad said.
FLR Sanders came in from a southern Minnesota location to work on restoring the floor, but did not properly finish the job. They told school officials they’d finished around midnight and left to get back to southern Minnesota.
“We thought, ‘OK, great.’ Except, when we came back, it wasn’t very nice at all,” Hunstad said of the floor. “We called them back and said, ‘This is not OK.’”
The company sent a worker from North Dakota to repair the floor. Hunstad said he did a good job and the floor was better, but there was no way they could hold games on it.
Hunstad knew the stickiness of the finish alone would likely cause someone to trip and cause harm if someone fell.
Although games were out of the question, the floor is in good condition to continue physical education classes.
FLR Sanders will return to Lancaster this summer ro refinish the whole floor and make it right, Hunstad said.
By Anna Jauhola