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North Central replacing gym floor

PIONEER — North Central must replace its gymnasium floor, which is more than 30 years old.

The school board accepted a $148,376 bid Tuesday from Heritage Floors for the project.

Two other bids were received, one from The Final Floor, Inc. at $176,100 and one from Foster Specialty Floors at $186,530 with an alternate bid of $129,134.

During the board’s work session, Superintendent Michael Bute said the project is necessary after previous Band-Aid solutions, such as using pins to keep the floor down, have failed.

“We brought in some floor experts to look at it, and essentially the pad under the gym floor is gone ... it’ll continue to spread out and it’s just going to make things worse, so it’ll get to a point where it’s unusable,” Bute said. “It is a floor that holds our athletic events, our winter concert, the Veteran’s Day assembly, those types of things there.”

Bute added elementary physical education classes are also held there, making it a classroom that is used daily.

“If it becomes deemed not safe, if those pins start popping ... we might not be able to utilize that for PE as well,” he said. “We received professional opinions from flooring professionals and they said it needs replaced.”

Treasurer Eric Smeltzer said in addition to replacing the floor, the company would also sand and refinish it every year.

The $148,376 for the project will come out of the permanent improvement (PI) fund, with Bute emphasizing it will not use money from the general fund.

“Permanent improvement funds are used to replace or improve on expenditures that would last more than five years,” Bute said.

Smeltzer clarified the money needed to complete the project is already in the PI fund, and that the levy on the March ballot would raise money for the general fund, not the PI fund, but wouldn’t collect any revenue for about 18 months anyway.

It was also suggested the district’s athletic department would seek donations from the community to put toward the project.

Bute said the project is set to begin after the school year ends.

“Ideally, we would want to start on June 3, and then it’s five to six weeks start to finish,” Bute said. “There’s never good timing for this, but again, two separate funds and we can’t continue to put things on the back burner, because this affects classrooms throughout the day as well.”

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