Hope expressed for YEMS gym

Clean-up from a burst water pipe earlier this month at Youngsville Elementary Middle School continues and there is hope that the gym floor can be preserved.

Dr. Norbert Kennerknecht, Warren County School District director of buildings and grounds, provided an update on the situation during school board committee meetings on Monday night.

“The agency that was employed by the insurance company has fans pushing air behind the walls to dry them out,” he said. “About half the gym is under tarp. (We are) constantly working 24 hours per day to dry out the gym floor.”

“We are treating it,” he added. “The only other option is to tear out the gym floor and replace it. (The) best option and fastest option is to dry it out. We will have to refinish the whole floor.”

Board Vice President Donna Zariczny asked if the floor will be playable.

“We’re hoping as the wood dries out it will stop cupping and lay back down,” said Kennerknecht, indicating that refinishing of the floor would likely occur over the summer.

A louver malfunction allowed cold air to freeze the water pipe that broke in half on Jan. 7, leaving the gymnasium as well as the lobby and music room flooded with nearly two inches of water.

Students were on a two-hour delay that day and were not in the building. Maintenance staff was able to make the building functional by the time students arrived.

The water was shut off and band students were later moved to the stage in the gymnasium, choir students were moved to Cafeteria B and students have been completing activities in the lobby.