Possible solution for blue gym found


The blue gym floor was scheduled to be replaced over the summer.

However, with numerous other construction projects, the facilities and maintenance department was unable to complete the project.

Currently, the floor has numerous strands of duct tape, most notably on the far side of the blue gym. The duct tape protects and covers gaps up to a few millimeters wide that formed because of a water leaks.

Only a few meters away from the top of a train tunnel causes building movement and cracks “fractions of a millimeter” in width on the far-side wall of the blue gym, Facilities Manager Kevin Moffat said. These cracks allow water to seep through to the blue gym floor if the water pressure raises to a substantial level, which can occur from an influx of rain in a short amount of time.

To combat the problem Moffat and structural engineers assisting the school are in the process of creating a cavity drain that will run across the length of the far-side wall of the blue gym. The cavity drain will end on the left side of the blue gym and collect water leaking from that side.

The facilities and maintenance departments will identify any early warning signs of water accumulation from looking at the end of the cavity. Additionally, the facilities and maintenance departments will remove a plank from the wall on that side of the blue gym every six months to see any water in the drain. If any water were to be found in the drain they would assess for any other possible leaks.

Next summer the facilities and maintenance department will institute the drain as well as replace the floor.

Along with the athletics and PE department, the facilities and maintenance department is yet to decide on the surface of the floor. A vinyl floor and a sprung wooden floor constitute the two leading choices.  

A sprung wooden floor proves more forgiving for athletic activities, though it would be more susceptible to any other water damage as a vinyl floor “can have a substrate below it, which is a water releasing membrane,” Moffat said.

Moffat and the structural engineers predict the cavity drain will serve as a permanent solution to any problem of excess water, though they cannot be certain. “We’ve got to accept that that wall is going to crack. No wall is impermeable, it will always crack at some point. We’ve just got to manage it and we will manage it.”

Photo by Kenzie Morris (’20)