Winter storms brought much-needed precipitation to Southwest Colorado, but they also damaged the Dolores School District’s main gym.
The gym flooded in March, and the flooring is a complete loss, according to interim Superintendent Phil Kasper. The district is soliciting demolition bids and working with the RE-4A insurer on flooring replacement.
Kasper said demolition and substructure removal could cost as much as $15,000, although district officials will know more by Friday, the deadline for bids.
The cost could reach $230,000, he said.
Dolores Secondary Schools Principal Jenifer Hufman announced late last month that the campus experienced flooding after spring thaw and runoff, but the gym was in the most immediate danger.
“Of greatest concern at this time is flooding below the gym floor, and flooding that has entered the duct system on the north end of the middle school, affecting the social studies and health classrooms,” Hufman wrote in a district letter.
After inspecting the damage, the insurance adjuster determined March 29 that the gym would be closed for the rest of the school year.
“The flooding is being caused by groundwater ‘sub’ that continues to rise, and the cleanup crews are pumping in order to make sure it doesn’t overflow and cause more damage,” Hufman said in a followup letter.
The floor will be removed, she said, and once the high waters have subsided – which typically happens in mid-May – crews will bring in large heaters to expedite the drying process, and the floor will be resealed and relaid.
Kasper said district officials hope to install flooring that will mitigate flooding conditions, such as raising the floor or using sump pumps.
“The options are limited, however, due to the age of the facility and the location of the entire secondary campus,” he told The Journal in an email. The school is within the town’s flood plain.
Mold inspectors have cleared middle school classrooms for use April 8, and classes have resumed, Kasper said.
The mold report is available to the public at the district’s central office, he added.
Because of the gym flooding, the school district relocated several events. Senior prom was held at the Elks Lodge in Cortez, and several other events are being held in the auxiliary gym, including the spring concert, Teddy Bears Preschool graduation, eighth grade continuation, and awards ceremonies for students in middle school through 11 grade.
Senior Awards Night will be held at the Dolores Community Center, and graduation will be held at the football field.