Final renovations planned for Stearns Gym

Published 4:21 pm Monday, January 30, 2012

Work to include structural repairs, new flooring
Final renovations are being planned for Stearns Gym, including making structural repairs and installing a new floor.
The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Jan. 23 and heard from county manager Ryan Whitson that the county had a structural engineer design structural repairs to the underneath of the building for approximately $3,000.
The structural repairs will include replacing pillars that were installed in the past with the intent to be temporary, according to Whitson. Whitson said replacing those pillars will include lifting parts of the gymnasium. He told commissioners the repairs could be done in phases, with the first phase fixing the section of the gym where the bleachers are located and another phase fixing the middle of the gym.
County officials have also discussed replacing the entire wooden floor of the gym, with Whitson saying that can be done after the structural repairs are made.
Commissioner Tom Pack asked if the gym could be used during the repairs.
Whitson said he doesn’t think the repairs will take long, but he doubts the gym can be used while it is being repaired.
Other renovations to the gym have been completed recently and include a new roof and gutters, new doors and windows and painting.
Stearns Gym was originally the basketball gymnasium for Stearns School, which was closed in the 1980s. The county has since used the gymnasium as its recreation department and runs several programs out of the gym, including youth basketball, youth afterschool and summer programs and various recreational and exercise programs.
Stearns School is used as the administrative offices for Polk County Schools.
Whitson said the county has $56,000 in the recreation department’s capital improvement budget. The county will send the structural repairs out to bid, which Whitson said should take about six weeks.

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