WESTFIELD, NJ — Repairs are underway at McKinley Elementary School following the discovery of moisture and mold underneath the gymnasium floor, something school district officials do not anticipate completing before the beginning of the academic year.

District officials had initially ordered repairs of the gym floor, but when workers found mold underneath the flooring, the scope of the initial project expanded, School Business Administrator Dana Sullivan said during a special meeting of the school board Thursday morning.

“The entire floor and subfloor has been removed,” Sullivan said. “We did have our architect check it to make sure that structurally it was sound. We are working now with a floor company to order the floor.”

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“Getting the material is not the issue, but getting the installers is the issue,” she said. “Because we didn’t plan this early, because it was a surprise to us, we didn’t have installers lined up.”

District officials are still working out exactly when workers will install the new flooring, Sullivan said.

“That will not be done for the start of school, but we’re hoping to get it done as quickly as we can,” she said. “We’re hoping that the installers will be available sometime in October to start.”

McKinley School Principal Marc Biunno says he’s still working on the options with the understanding that gym classes generally take place outdoors in nice weather, district spokeswoman Mary Ann McGann told TAPinto Westfield. Other events, such as assemblies and band lessons, will be relocated to other parts of the building, she said.

Sullivan explained that discussions between the district and insurance companies are contributing to the delay.

“Part of what takes time with this is we have several different insurance companies involved,” Sullivan said. “A large part of the costs will be covered by the insurance companies, but we have to have the adjustors involved, and quotes, and all that kind of stuff.”

Prior to the mold being found, the district had planned to replace just damaged sections of the floor and began work on this in June, Sullivan said at a special meeting of the school board last month.

“There was mold underneath. There was no mold issue as far as when people were in the building,” Sullivan said at the meeting last month. “It was once we pulled it up that it became an issue. When it was contained, it was not an issue.”

Other Facilities Projects

The Kehler Stadium renovation project is nearing completion, Sullivan said.

“Kehler is looking great,” she said. “We are just about done, other than laying the track. We are just waiting for the asphalt to finish curing.”

Work on the track is expected to begin next week, she said.

At last month’s board meeting, Sullivan said the asphalt would need to cure for about one month before workers could begin laying the track.

“The facility looks beautiful, the bathrooms are almost finished,” Sullivan added. “We should be completely one hundred percent done before the first football game.”

Several other facilities projects, announced during a March board meeting, are also underway at the district. Sullivan said she expects planned restroom and lobby renovations across multiple schools to be finished by the start of the school year.

Door and security upgrades, the Westfield High School TV studio renovations, and the installation of generators are slated to be completed sometime in the fall.

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