Thompson Gym to replace floor, expected completion by late October

Brian Lukacsy September 11, 2015 0

Thompson Gymnasium, which many of Elizabethtown College athletic teams have called home for 45 years, is getting its first major renovation since its dedication in 1970. The hardwood floor, which is the originally floor from 1970, spans the entire length of the gym and is in the process of being replaced. Work officially began on the court on August 25.
The floor is divided into three courts, including Kauffman Court, which serves as the main court for the women’s volleyball matches and men’s and women’s basketball games and wrestling matches. The two auxiliary courts on either side of Kauffman Court are used by all students on campus. Prior to this summer, there was no plan to replace the court this year, but tough circumstances have forced the hands of the college.
While work was being done on Thompson Gymnasium’s roof earlier this summer, a severe thunderstorm blew open a vapor barrier and resulted in water damage to the floor. The day after the storm which brought three inches of rain to Etown, the damage to the court was assessed and the school evaluated its options, keeping in mind how this would affect the student-athletes. According to Matt Heffelfinger, Director of Athletic Communications, “The court’s lifespan was nearing its end, so when the damage occurred, opting for the new surface made more sense than repairing a court which was close to the end of its life.”
The college administration, with the advice and consultation of the flooring contracts, Facilities Management, restoration companies and insurance companies, recommended to the Board of Trustees that a total floor replacement was the best option. “The floor replacement made more sense than patching in three rather large areas of gym floor which would not have matched the existing gym floor,” Heffelfinger said. “A patch of the remaining floor would have also resulted in the same schedule going into the end of October, so there would have been no time advantage to perform a patch and repair approach versus total replacement.”
The main damage occurred on the east practice court and continued onto the east side of the main court. Secondary damage also occurred at the north end of the main court under the basket and behind the basket. The new floor being installed is a maple Aacer ScissorLoc DC floor. The floor will resemble the current floors at Penn State’s Rec Hall and Gettysburg’s Bream Gymnasium and will protect against future water damage.
Etown chose Miller Flooring of West Chester to oversee the floor project because of their excellent track record. Miller Flooring has worked with the U.S. Naval Academy and universities such as Villanova, Lehigh and Millersville, to name a few. Etown has its own relationship with the company as well. Miller Flooring is currently installing the new Mondo surface t the outdoor track & field facility on campus.
At this time, specific details have not been released, but the college is hoping the new court will be completed installed by the end of October. With the project beginning during the first week of classes, some athletic teams are being affected by the untimeliness of the incident.
“Volleyball will be the most adversely affected sport during the project. They are practicing and playing most of their matches at Elizabethtown Area High School this fall,” Heffelfinger said. “Men’s and women’s basketball will likely have to start their preseason practices off campus, but if completed by the end of October, the court replacement won’t affect the regular season.”

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