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New floors causing problems

Though it's not even quite a year old, the wood panel flooring of the Lake Park-Audubon High School gymnasium is already posing some problems for athletes at sporting events.

LP-A School Superintendent Dale Hogie gave school board members a tour of the gymnasium during their monthly meeting Thursday night to let them see the problems for themselves.

"The problem with the gym floor is that there's separation between the boards of the wood -- separation that's greater than we deem acceptable," Hogie said. "We're thinking that it should be replaced, because the condition it's in is not appropriate for play."

In fact, the gaps are large enough that athletes have been injured from falling on the hardwood floor during basketball games this season, Hogie added.

"We have athletes that have fallen and sustained cuts from the gapes in the floor, because their skin gets pinched or catches on a sharp edge," he said. "They have to leave the game and get bandaged by the trainers before returning... it's happened with our players and also visiting teams.

"We also don't feel that our basketballs rebound consistently throughout the floor surface," he added, noting that the balls don't bounce high enough in certain "dead" areas of the floor.

Hogie said that he has presented the company that installed the flooring, Anderson-Ladd, with a "lengthy list" of questions regarding why these problems have persisted -- questions ranging from whether the wood was too wet when it was installed, to whether the quality of installation was inconsistent in certain areas.

It is the company's contention, however, that there is insufficient humidity in the gymnasium space, "which causes the wood to dry out, and as the wood dries it shrinks, causing these seams and gaps to widen," Hogie said.

"If we have students that are getting hurt, that's a real problem," said Board Chair Vicky Grondahl at the meeting.

She also urged Hogie to be persistent in pursuing a solution to the problem.

Also on Thursday, the board took a tour of the industrial technology classroom areas with instructor Jed Swegarden, and also looked at the athletic equipment storage area, where his students built a metal enclosure that allows the equipment to be stored neatly and securely.

In other business, the board approved a list of head coaches for spring athletic programs at LP-A, including the following: Girls golf, Marge Beaudine; boys golf, Cole Wixo; softball, Bryan Anderson; baseball, Taylor Fuhs; track and field, Coral Lunde and Lori Wixo.

They also approved a request from Education Minnesota-LPA to begin master contract negotiations on March 25.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454