The gymnasium at Port St. Joe Elementary School has reopened for business.

The gymnasium at Port St. Joe Elementary School has reopened for business.

Over Christmas break, construction began on new wood floors to replace the old gymnasium and lunch room floors in the school. The repairs were completed by RAM Enterprises for a bid of $114,657.

According to Superintendent of Schools Jim Norton, the money for the project didn’t come from taxpayers, but rather a “pot of money” made up of tag renewal funds that nets the board approximately $15,000 each year.

The money must be used every five years or lost.

“Due to water issues in the last decade, the floor buckled and had become unsafe,” said Norton. “The state gave us permission to tap into that money in the name of safety.”

Projects eligible for the funds must also have been listed on both a five-year work plan and a project priority list.

The funds could not be used for landscaping or competition-based facilities.

Concern over the floors began when RAM performed an analysis and discovered that the gym floor needed to be replaced. Moisture issues had caused the old flooring to warp after stagnant air made its way between the sub-floor and maple floor and disintegrated the vapor barrier.

The school board voted to proceed with the repairs in December.

The renovations bring the gymnasium floor up to date with current standards.

During construction, the maintenance team installed several fans in the crawlspace under the floors to circulate air when temperatures increased.

“We have multiple athletic sports teams and only one gym floor,” said Norton.  “Now, it will be able to accommodate our high school sports overflow needs.

“We may have old buildings, but we plan on them lasting us another 60 years.”