A section of the Harwood gym that was most damaged by water is tented to increase drying

Harwood Union’s flood-damaged gymnasium floor will be removed and replaced with the cost covered completely by the school’s insurance. The estimated cost is $209,000. That cost could increase if there is excess moisture found in the concrete slab below the flooring. If moisture levels are over 4.5% it could add $3 per square foot to the cost. If moisture levels are higher than 5.5% it would require “shot-blasting the slab” and adding an extra layer of material that would cost $4 to $4.50 per square foot.


Shot blasting concrete is a resurfacing process that uses metal beads “shot” out of a machine to “blast” away tough debris and contaminants. It's a comparable method to sand blasting, but it provides a much more powerful clean due to the size and speed of the metal pellets.

On September 22, a broken sprinkler flooded part of the gym at Harwood Union Middle/High School causing damage to the floor. Ray Daigle, director of facilities for the Harwood Unified Union School District, said that an excess of 1,000 gallons of water was dumped onto the gymnasium floor. Daigle explained that the sprinkler system is considered a ‘wet’ system which is fully charged at all times and fed from a fire pond up behind the school. G.W. Savage immediately began efforts to dry the floor by pumping heat under the floor and tenting the area where the most damage occurred. They advised the school to wait a week to see how the moisture levels dropped before taking the next steps.

On October 11 Superintendent Dr. Mike Leichliter added more details explaining that the plan is to have the gym floor replacement completed by the end of the year, depending on the material availability.

“There are multiple steps including asbestos testing of the existing gym floor and underlayment material, removal of the old gym floor, testing of the concrete subfloor for moisture, installation of the new floor, and installation of the new bleachers which were ordered prior to the floor being damaged. Currently, the PE classes are outside,” Leichliter explained.

Daigle and his staff are marking off a section of the floor that cannot be used. Once that is up, PE classes will be able to temporarily use the gym until demolition of the old floor begins. In addition to alternative activities, Harwood has an upstairs gym area that can be used.

Leichliter said that basketball season begins towards the end of November and games start around the second week of December. He said that athletic director Chris Langevin would be working to locate other sites for practices and working with other athletic directors to schedule away games and scrimmages with the gym unavailable.