SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Springfield Athletic Director Joshua Scott thought there was more time.
According to Scott, the gym floor at Parkview High School had at least five more years before needing to be replaced.
However, a singular pipe had other plans.
“What happened underneath our wrestling room, which is now on top of the gym, there’s a wall that separates the wrestling room, the old back of the stage, and our girl’s locker room that we use for P.E. and women’s basketball and volleyball,” Scott said. “In that wall, at some point, a pipe going up to the bathroom sprung a leak, and that leak went underneath the gym, went under the stage, under the floor.”
He says they discovered the damage in late September/early October, but the damage to the gym floor had been too much.
“If you know about most gym floors, they’re built on a kind of a honeycomb in order to give you a little bit of a give. They’re not built straight on concrete,” Scott said. “What ended up happening is the water just spread through the bottom and underneath of the gym floor, got on the supports, came up in the gym floor. We first noticed it when a couple of our volleyball girls were putting a standard in for the volleyball netting system and water splashed out of the hole.”
Since that discovery, the gym has not been used for P.E. class or any athletic practice or event.
“I think everyone’s frustrated. I mean, you want to during your sports season, you want to have your gym. This is just another example of not everything is in our control,” Scott said. “When we get put in situations with, you know, not great choices, we have the decision to make of how we approach our work, how we approach practice, how we approach games, and what our attitudes and our system are when we go into to participate.”
And until the new gym is put in, those practices and events have to be elsewhere.
“We’re in in conversations with Jarrett [Middle School], we’re in conversations with Missouri State University, and then we’re actually our Kinloch wrestling tournament, which will happen over the holiday break, we are going to host that at the Expo Center in Downtown Springfield,” Scott said.
The project will cost over $300,000 but SPS will only have to pay $50,000 and the rest will be covered with insurance.
The district expects construction to start soon.
“[The workers] will come in with saws, saw this thing up, haul out all of the old wood, and assess the undercarriage of the floor, make sure that it is good, and the water didn’t damage it too much because you can’t see that in the middle of the floor and then they’ll start repairing it,” Scott said.
Scott says they expect the new gym to be complete and usable by mid-January 2024.