Phys-Ed instructor Michael Tangen presented members of his dance class to the Spring Grove School Board last week. They performed four dance steps for directors during a seven-minute program. The event was held in the school’s gymnasium, which was a subject of great discussion.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->SGH/Moorhead
Phys-Ed instructor Michael Tangen presented members of his dance class to the Spring Grove School Board last week. They performed four dance steps for directors during a seven-minute program. The event was held in the school’s gymnasium, which was a subject of great discussion.

SGH/Moorhead
Board members of ISD No. 297 discussed the possible replacement of the gymnasium floor at their May 20 meeting, then decided that a special session was in order before they set a course of action.

Although the board supported the idea, the issues of paying for the improvements, as well as when they would be completed, were debated.

Coach Wade Grinde and resident JC Nerstad spoke to board members about the project.

"In regard to the gym floor, who's on board?" Nerstad asked. "We feel comfortable telling the board that we have approximately $45,000 so far in verbal pledges. We have not talked to everybody as of yet."

Nerstad said that groups such as the Spring Grove Lions, Athletic Boosters and many others (including parents) have come forward to offer donations.

The school has tentatively offered the proceeds of a $31,885 gift toward the estimated cost of $110,000 to remove the old flooring, abate asbestos in the underlying mastic and replace it with a new shock-absorbent floor.

The $31,885 donation to the district came from the estate of Betty Bretz and was offered in support of extracurricular activities.

Nerstad added that if the project is done this summer, it might be a good time to paint the gymnasium. With that in mind, he forwarded a price quote from a community member to perform that task.

In addition, the district would probably purchase a floor mat to protect the new hardwood. Rough estimates for that item range from $5,000 to $8,000.

"We don't want people getting the impression that we're going to take taxpayer money to put a new floor in the gym," Superintendent Rachel Udstuen said.

Grinde reported that he and Nerstad had visited a firm in Stillwater that could install a new floor in three to four weeks. A second firm has also been contacted, which offered quotes as well.

Udstuen added later that she had quotes from two companies for the removal/abatement side of the project.

"We could design our floor however we want it," Grinde said. The school logo would be included in the design.

Called a "focus floor", the proposed new surface is a low-profile design, he said. It includes 60 percent of "impact absorption" to cushion players while offering 95 percent "ball return" energy (bounce).

Grinde added that the company he visited has installed similar flooring at Waukon (Iowa) and Schaeffer Academy (Rochester).

Another important consideration is the availability of an installer. "If we want to go ahead with it this summer, it's doable," Grinde noted. "This is a project that I've been talking about for years."

The current floor has 100 percent ball return energy and zero percent absorption, he told directors. "We are on that floor 11 months out of the year."

Members voted to hold a special meeting "for the purpose of discussing the gym floor project," on Thursday, May 23.

Follow up on special meeting

Herald reporter Marlene Deschler attended the special meeting on May 23, and reports the following:

At that meeting, the board reviewed three quotes, narrowing it down to two. Those two companies gave quotes on two different types of floors.

Because one firm had given discounts that were not listed on its original quote, Superintendent Udstuen was following up with the two firms so the board can compare "apples to apples" at another special meeting, which was scheduled Friday, May 31, at 7:45 a.m. at the school.