December 2, 2021

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Randolph County Commission provides $15K for gym flooring | News, Sports, Jobs

The Inter-Mountain photo by Brad Johnson
From left, Randolph County Commissioners David Kesling, Mark Scott and Chris Lee, shown in an August meeting, have voted to help fund a renovation project at the Phil Gainer Community Center in Elkins.

ELKINS — The Randolph County Commission has agreed to contribute $15,000 to the completion of an ongoing renovation project at the Phil Gainer Community Center.

Chris Lee, manager of the center, told commissioners Mark Scott, David Kesling and Chris See that, with their help, a major part of the recent revamping of the facility could be completed.

“One of the things we started to look at after we completed our recent renovations is what we considered to be the final piece of the puzzle,” Lee said. “And that is putting down a modern gym floor at the facility. In conversation with a lot of the youth sports organizations in the community, there has been some hesitancy to let kids train on our floor because right now it’s just concrete.”

Lee said the center has picked out a floor that will be useful for not just basketball, but other sports and activities as well.

“We started looking at what gym floors made the most sense and what we settled on is a padded floor system,” Lee said. “There will be a seven millimeter rubber pad that is laid down and then a 2-millimeter self-leveling polyurethane that will cover that up. So it will be a seamless floor and moisture will not get in.

“These specific flooring systems are multipurpose, they’re great for volleyball, basketball, indoor soccer and really any indoor recreational activity.”

Most of the funding has been raised for the floor project, which is scheduled to begin next week.

“When we went to bid in the summer we came in at about $73,000,” Lee said. “We expected a bid from Dynamic Sports Construction in July. The Snowshoe Foundation was kind enough to award us $20,000 for the project. With that, the city matched the funds and I personally was able to raise some money throughout the community. We are sitting at $59,000, approximately $15,000 short of being fully funded.

“We are slated to begin this project on Sept. 15 and I have to figure out a way to get this thing funded before we have to pay them at the end. So I’m here today to graciously ask for the commission’s support in this project that will have a significant impact in our community. This is a one-time contribution for a 20-plus year floor that will have an effect on generations of people involved with youth recreation in Randolph County.”

Before the commission unanimously agreed to help fund the project, Scott said, “Our concern is with these young kids running around on this current court, because this hard concrete can really, really cause damage. My wife, her sister and brother all played on a hard basketball court, and her sister and brother have both had a knee redone, and my wife has joint issues. So long term, if you play on that concrete floor for a few years it can really cause some damage.”

Lee agreed that safety of area youth was the main reason the new floor is needed.

“Most importantly it will be safer for more people to use,” he said. “And one of the other reasons we need it is there is not a lot of court space available in this community.”

Over the past couple of years the Phil Gainer Center has gone through major renovations, ignoring HVAC upgrades, a new roof over part of the facility, new windows and most recently new basketball goals.

“Over the winter we installed four new basketball goals, so now we are able to run two basketball courts at the same time, side-by-side instead of just having the regular-sized court that is there,” Lee said.

“We will still be able to have the feature court, but for training purposes we now have twice the amount of court space than we did. This can be beneficial because there are often times when travel basketball groups will do tournaments and they will use multiple venues in a town.

“With this new gym floor in, we will be able to have two venues side-by-side with the middle school gym right next to our facility,” he said. “This means that people will be coming in and staying at hotels, going to the store, etc. So it benefits everyone in the community.”

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