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(PHOTOS) Campbell commissioners approve $450K gym floor replacement

In a 3–1 vote, Campbell County commissioners approved a sole-source request to pay up to $451,759 for repairs to the gym floor at the Recreation Center today. Wyoming Wood Floors would receive the funding from the county's insurance claims account.

Campbell County commissioners and staff discuss the replacement of the Recreation Center gym floor. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — In a 3–1 vote, Campbell County commissioners approved a sole-source request to pay up to $451,759 for repairs to the gym floor at the Recreation Center today.

Wyoming Wood Floors would receive the funding from the county’s insurance claims account.

Damage to the floor at the Campbell County Recreation Center was reported Aug. 6, Campbell County Public Works Facilities Manager Bill Beastrom said in a memo to commissioners. The floor got wet from the underside. Damage includes buckling, cupping and separating.

Commissioners on Aug. 28 take a look at damage to the floor of court three at Campbell County Parks and Recreation. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

“The source of the water is still unclear, but we did have a substantial rain a few days before,” Beastrom’s memo said. “The damage was reported to the insurance company, but the claim was denied due to their determination that the damage is flood-related.”

Beastrom said at the Aug. 30 meeting that the department brought in Wyoming Wood Floors to look at the damage, but staff haven’t drilled holes through the floor. Initially, staff were hoping the floor would settle back down so they could simply resurface the floor and not have to replace the whole floor. Instead, it got worse.

Campbell County Parks and Recreation Executive Director Dwayne Dillinger said staff will only be able to determine the cause of the problem by opening the floor, which is one piece across the three courts. While most of the damage is on the court that is furthest north, there is also damage on the two other courts. Staff don’t know where the water came in, but it seems to have settled in the lowest spots of the subfloor.

Public Works Executive Director Matt Olsen said that since the water could be coming in from anywhere, pulling boards up might just show a dry area of what’s beneath the court.

“But then what do we do? Go to the next one? At this point, we’re kind of watching a train wreck in slow motion,” he said.

Staff will probably need to remove sheet rock, he said. Contractors are examining the roof. This is the first time the courts have experienced this problem.

Portions of the floor are at about 20% moisture content while they should be at about 6%, Commissioner Del Shelstad said.

Dillinger said that Wyoming Wood Floors has been replacing wood floors about every 18 to 23 years. The gym floors at the recreation department are about 13 years old.

Public Works asked commissioners to approve the single-source request because Wyoming Wood Floors, which Campbell County School District uses for work, is the only company that the county received a quote from when the county asked the public for bids in 2022 for refinishing the gym floor, and there are no Campbell County–based companies that do the work, according to the memo. Sole-sourcing the project to the company will expedite repairs.

According to the bid, half of the down payment is due Sept. 23. The work includes removing and disposing of the water-damaged floor; installing the new flooring; and sanding, staining, sealing and painting the new floor, Wyoming Wood Floors Operations Manager Paul Nelson’s Aug. 24 estimate for the department said.

The bid does not include diagnosing the problem.

Commissioner Jim Ford, who was the sole commissioner to vote against the funding request, said he wasn’t comfortable approving spending nearly $500,000 without having a clear diagnosis of the problem.

“That’s a big, wonderful building and a lot of thought went into the engineering and design, but it’s just a wood floor and we don’t need to be scared of figuring it out, in my opinion,” he said. “And I guess I would suggest, maybe it doesn’t need to be one piece for the entire thing so that if there’s ever a problem again, we don’t have to replace the whole [expletive] works for a couple of spots the size of these tables.”

The tables in the commissioners’ chambers are about 3 feet by 7 feet.

Buckling and cupping damage on court two. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

Ford said that he believes staff should know more about the problem than they do.

Olsen said that the county will need to replace the floors regardless of the problem so he doesn’t know how holding off on ordering materials would help. Between Aug. 30 and the date the county receives the material, staff can figure out what the problem is, before Wyoming Wood Floors reinstalls flooring.

“We either have a smoking gun that we know exactly what happened, and we address it, or we kind of take a holistic look,” Olsen said.

Taking a holistic look includes analyzing groundwater, roofing and plumbing, he said. They’d examine every crack, slab and piece of perimeter.

Commissioner Colleen Faber was absent from the meeting.

The recreation center is located at 250 Shoshone Ave., Gillette.

Buckling and cupping damage on court two. (Mary Stroka/County 17)