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Tim Derico, Upshur County Schools director of facilities and curriculum, reports on a problem with the B-UMS gym floor at the Nov. 27 BOE meeting.

Problem with pooled water under middle school gymnasium floor remedied

BUCKHANNON – A problematic bulge in the Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School gymnasium floor has been leveled, and all related repairs are complete, Upshur County Schools facilities and curriculum director Tim Derico said Friday.

During recent Upshur County Board of Education meetings, Derico has delivered a series of updates on a problem with the Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School gymnasium floor.

Derico said the gymnasium floor developed a raised spot sometime around the end of September or beginning of October, which was caused by a pool of water gathering there.

“That is when we first noticed the issue,” Derico told My Buckhannon following the Nov. 28 BOE meeting. “At that point, the weather was still warm, and there was a lot of moisture and humidity in the air. There are some folks around who told us this has happened previously. It was a small issue last year, but it went back down (in the past).”

But the issue has persisted this year, he said.

“The building (B-UMS) itself does not have gutters, and that was one of the recommendations by one of the engineers who was on site,” Derico said. “The building has roof drains. Within the roof, there are places where the water goes to exit the roof.

“Within those storm areas, similar to a gutter drain, two areas were disconnected,” Derico explained. “There was moisture pooling under the gym floor. Our guys just did the work on the downspouts as soon as that was discovered.”

During the Nov. 27 Upshur County BOE meeting, Derico said the school system had asked several different companies come in survey the gymnasium floor.

“We elected to go with a company called Paul Davis Restoration,” Derico said. “They did some work at B-UHS several years ago. They are going to provide a relief cut along the stage. Then, they are going into the process of drying out and getting the entire floor dry where it is wet.”

Derico said the company used cameras to spot the water pooled beneath the gym floor.

“The pooled water was attributed to downspouts, and that has been corrected for a couple of months,” Derico said. “So, that has been there and caused the floor to raise. The drying process will begin on Thursday and it is a five-day process.”

Derico said the folks working to fix the floor were nearly certain they can fix the problem completely.

“Their folks tell us, within 95 percent certainty, that they think the relief cut by the stage will give the floor a little bit of room to move,” he said at the time. “The drying portion of the process will take about five days. Once that is done, they think that will cure all the issues.”

At the late November meeting, Derico said the worst-case scenario would be the school system would have to replace that section of the gym floor. However, the school system’s insurance covered the cost of an engineering firm coming in to survey the situation after they had exhausted all their other options to remedy the issue, he said.

He applauded the cooperation between B-UMS and B-UHS to ensure the bulge in the floor didn’t hinder either school’s athletic schedules.

“The B-UMS and B-UHS athletic directors worked together,” Derico said. “The beauty of it is our folks always seem to pull together and work through things. I think that needs noted – how well Debbie Shapiro and Rick Reynolds worked together.”

On Friday, Derico reported the repairs had been completed. He said crews had completed the drying process, noting they believe the drain issues had been remedied.

“The floor is back to level,” Derico told My Buckhannon Friday afternoon. “That is what we wanted. They came in Thursday (a week ago) and by Friday afternoon, they had made the relief cut and it was back to level. So, we think we are good right now.”

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