Replace broken

City to spend nearly $90,000 to replace damaged grounds at Springdale Recreation Center

SPRINGDALE — City Council on Tuesday approved spending nearly $90,000 to replace a gymnasium floor at the city’s recreation center.

The floor was damaged when a basketball was kicked and hit a fire sprinkler head in the center ceiling, said Chad Wolf, director of the city’s parks and recreation department. The sprinkler sent water squirting onto the ground.

The wooden floor under that sprinkler has buckled in several places, leaving the ground unplayable and staff scrambling to rework schedules to accommodate teams using the pitch, he said.

Only half of the court was damaged, but the entire floor needs to be replaced as the wood needs to match in size and color, Wolf said.

The new floor and its installation will cost $89,950, which should be reimbursed by insurance. Gym Masters Basketball Courts of Searcy was awarded the contract for the project.

Wolf noted that the project could take four to six weeks.

Gym floors are replaced every few years, Wolf said. This tribunal was last replaced two years ago, he reported.

The incident happened around 3:15 p.m. on September 11, a Sunday afternoon, Wolf said.

Eric Carr, the recreation center’s maintenance supervisor, arrived at the building about 15 or 20 minutes after the water started spitting, and he turned off the sprinkler.

Carr estimated that about 5,000 gallons of water spilled. He said a ¾ inch hose released water for 20 to 30 minutes.

Wolf said staff cleaned up and vacuumed up the water, but weren’t sure how much water seeped under the court boards.

Wolf noted that some of the facility’s sprinklers had sprinkler head covers to prevent this type of event, but others, including this one, did not.

Wolf said he purchased 100 sprinkler covers at $3.40 each that his staff will soon install on other sprinkler heads without covers.

Wolf noted that the damaged yard was the first one people came to when entering the yard area and, therefore, the most used yard. The center has six courts for different sports.

Many teams use the pitches for practices and games, he noted. The volleyball season ends and basketball begins in mid-December.

The ground has also hosted clinics and other classes for both sports.

The Springdale High School and Southwest Junior High teams use the recreation center for volleyball and basketball while new gymnasiums are being built at both schools.

“And the pickle-ballers are here every day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.,” Wolf added.

Recreation center staff were able to move some teams to a new sports field in the northwest corner of the recreation center.

City attorney Ernest Cate said the city could not demand restitution from the person who kicked the ball.

“It was an accident,” he said.

In late 2018, the city purchased the 120,000 square foot private recreation center for $4 million. The money came from the 2018 Parks Bond Fund. The city spent over $2 million on renovations.

The board voted in February to spend $176,000 to install the sports field and rubber flooring for the weight area and complete a classroom space in the center.

The newly installed court includes two basketball goals and is painted with lines for pickleball, volleyball and basketball.

The September 2021 City Council approved $366,017 to build an elevator to bring the center into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The project also included a reconfiguration of the centre’s main entrance.

The work on the elevator and the main entrance were recently completed.