High school gym upgrades take shape

Crews put the finishing touches on the gym floor at Sweet Grass County High School Tuesday. The 31-year-old floor was resurfaced after maintenance staff noticed cracks beginning to form in the sealant. Left untouched, water could have seeped into the floor, resulting in costly repairs. 

In November of last year, the SGHS Board of Trustees voted to spend $25,600 to resurface the floor, which is expected to last at least a decade. Gym floors can be resurfaced eight to 10 times according to school janitor Sam Spector who noted that this would be the first time for the SGHS floor. 

The floor, Spector explained, outlasted its 25-year life expectancy by a number of years because of the way it was taken care of.  

“That’s one of the reasons why the floor lasted so long is because of the kids, the administration and our janitorial staff taking care of it,” Spector said. “Like having kids wears socks during lunch hour instead of wearing their outside shoes. And we cover the floor with floor mats in events.”

Crews from Western Sports Floors began work May 30. They stripped the floor to remove the sealant and sanded down 1/32 of an inch of the wood surface, resealed the floor, painted it and finally coated it with finish. 

Western Sports Floors recommends floors be resurfaced every 10 years, SGHS Principal Matt Kleinsasser said, but the high school is hoping to at least double that lifespan by continuing their meticulous maintenance practices. They will also be installing keypads on the southeast door to the gym to better monitor gym traffic. Currently, the school hands out gym keys to staff and facility users, but they’re uncertain how many keys are floating around the community or exactly where they’re at. And furthermore, should a staff member misplace their gym key, the school previously had to re-key all 86 doors to the building. The keypad will allow them to simply deactivate one code and issue another. 

“We spent a lot of money so we want to maintain it as long as we can,” Kleinsasser said. “We’re making a commitment to the community because that’s where most people see the school is in the gym. We want to have it as nice looking as possible. People might think, hey we’re trying to lock it down — we’re not. We’re just trying to maintain it and keep it up.”

To read the full story, pick up the June 15 edition of the Pioneer or subscribe to our e-edition. Current subscribers are provided complimentary access to the e-edition with registration.

By Mackenzie Reiss / Pioneer Editor


Olivia Keith / Big Timber Pioneer

Katie Ott paints the Sweet Grass County High School gym floor Wednesday, June 7.


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