After fire damage auxiliary gym reopens, then closes again

The auxiliary gym reopened Nov. 7th, only to be re-closed for another two weeks, nearly one month after a fire damaged it. Immediately after the opening, it was noticed that the paint on the floor was chipping.

The main problem in the auxiliary gym after the fire wasn’t fire damage, it was water damage. “…[Approximately] 20 percent of the floor had water damage underneath the floor. They had to pull that up and replace all the boards,” Rob Holstrom, assistant principal of athletics and activities, said. There was slight smoke damage as well, but the entire gym had to be cleaned, ceiling to floor, and the floor had to be sanded, re-sealed and repainted.

The auxiliary gym was closed again on Nov. 8th until the floor is re-painted and sealed, which is projected to take another two weeks. The main gym, kitchen, dance studio, wrestling room and locker rooms still await completion and reopening, which isn’t expected until shortly after Thanksgiving break, according to Holstrom.

The main gym suffered more damage, with about a quarter of the floor ruined by the water used to put out the fire. The south bleachers needed to be removed as well, according to Holstrom, in order for the wall behind them to be repaired. The floor in the main gym is being sanded, re-sealed and repainted, while the banners needed to be cleaned and the roof needed to be repaired.

As winter sports season approaches, teams such as boys and girls basketball and wrestling have been using space in the gyms and cafeteria for practice while the gyms at West Linn are closed.

“[The kitchen] was the worst damaged area: all walls and ceilings were lost, all food storage was lost, all [electric utilities] were lost,” Holstrom said. The kitchen needed to just about be rebuilt entirely. Only some of the equipment was salvaged, and is being cleaned for reuse when the kitchen reopens. All lost equipment will be replaced.

The locker rooms (beneath the gyms) were also greatly damaged by the water used to put out the fire. The floors and lighting systems are being repaired and replaced. All areas of the locker rooms needed to be cleaned.

The dance and wrestling rooms were not damaged by the smoke or water, but encountered slight air quality issues. All issues with these rooms have been addressed, but have not been reopened. The weight room experienced similar damage, and was reopened in mid-October.

All areas south of the main gym encountered electrical problems immediately following the fire that have since been fixed.