Home News Local News Gym floor adds to work in city building renovation

Gym floor adds to work in city building renovation

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Workers with White Sands Construction of Alamogordo work on the new roof and insulation Wednesday at the Poe Corn Center, 201 S. Garden Ave. The building, which houses the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chaves and Lincoln Counties, is undergoing a $1 million renovation. (Juno Ogle Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

The renovation of the city building that houses the Boys and Girls Club of Chaves County has uncovered some unexpected issues with the gym flooring and damaged insulation but is otherwise progressing.

City Engineer Louis Najar said Wednesday the project should be completed by the middle of March, but Tim Coughlin, director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chaves and Lincoln Counties, said his conversations with the contractor, White Sands Construction of Alamagordo, leads him to believe construction could extend to the end of the school year. He’s satisfied with the work so far, however.

“It’s looking great, it’s spectacular. The lighting is the one thing that catches my eye when I walk in,” Coughlin said.

New LED lighting is being placed throughout the building, offering better energy efficiency. Several areas will even have motion-activated sensors to turn lights on and off.

Five inches of insulation will be added to the gym under its new roof, which will also help lower the organization’s utility bills, Coughlin said.

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In addition, offices and classrooms have new coats of paint and tile flooring is being removed. Throughout the building, except for the gym and locker rooms, the underlying concrete floors will eventually be polished. New ceiling tiles, a fire alarm system and heating and cooling systems will also be installed.

The city owns the Poe Corn Center at 201 S. Garden Ave. and received a $750,000 Community Development Block Grant in 2018 for the renovations. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Chaves and Lincoln Counties leases the building from the city.

“We’re really pleased in the partnership we have with the city and we’re really pleased with the investments that they’re making back into it and the community, and the fact that we were able to help facilitate getting that CDBG,” Coughlin said.

The original cost of the project was just over $1 million, but it has already added about $12,000 to replace damaged ceiling insulation in several rooms, Najar said.

When construction crews took down ceiling tiles in the teen room, game room, computer lab and nearby bathrooms, they discovered the insulation was wet from past leaks, Najar said.

Roswell City Engineer Louis Najar shows one of the cracks in the gym floor of the Poe Corn Center, 201 S. Garden Ave., on Wednesday. One side of the original cement floor settled over the years, causing the cracks. The building, which houses the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chaves and Lincoln Counties, is undergoing a $1 million renovation. (Juno Ogle Photo)

Removing the floor in the gym revealed some surprises as well — an additional layer of wood flooring along with about a 4-inch settlement in the original cement floor along the south side. Several large cracks run the length of the cement floor near the wall.

“So they’ve had three gym floors, but that last gym floor, you could tell where they’d put in shims to pick up the wood floor so that it would be level,” Najar said.

He said it was probably the 1990s at the latest when the third level of the gym floor was installed. It does not appear the floor has settled since then. Najar suspects leaks from the swimming pool, which was just outside the gym, contributed to the settling. The pool was filled in several years ago.

“So what we gotta do is fill in all the cracks. Then we’re going to put in more stuff and level the floor, and then we put the surface on the floor,” he said.

The gym floor will be a poured surface like was used in the Roswell Recreation and Aquatic Center gyms, Najar said.

The unplanned work will add about $50,000 to the project. Najar said he will present a change order for the work at a future Finance Committee meeting.

Coughlin said the organization would like to have a grand reopening ceremony after the building is complete, but that will depend on what the public health order allows.

“Even if we get back to the building and we’re still under restrictions, when we’re able to in the future, then we’ll definitely have a grand reopening at a later time,” he said.

“We’ve also got plans to increase activities there and to be able to utilize it to help the community,” he said.

That could include keeping the gym open in the evening for basketball leagues or open gym time, or renting the cafeteria for parties. Again, that will depend on the health order’s restrictions, Coughlin said.

The club has been located at the recreation center, where it has been able to offer services to about 20 children, Coughlin said. Since moving out there, it has expanded from after-school programs to being open about 10 hours a day. It uses two rooms and a portion of the gym.

“When we move back into the club building, we’ve got five different spaces we could use, so we could conceivably be bringing more kids back in,” he said.

That could be difficult with the expanded hours, however.

“We have the same amount of staff as we did when we were open for after school, but because we’re open all day now, we’re having to split those into a morning and afternoon shift,” he said.

Fees have also increased with the hours, but Coughlin said the club has received donations for a scholarship fund.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.