As a result of flood damage in early August, Campbell County Public Schools will have to replace Brookville High School’s gym floor.
Superintendent Robert Johnson said the floor is “warped significantly” and is buckled in some places.
During the Aug. 2 deluge that sparked flooding across the Lynchburg area, water seeped underneath the back doors of the school’s gym and made its way down the hall to the wrestling room, weight room, some storage areas and the old gym. Staff worked until about 3 a.m. Aug. 3 to clear about 2 inches of surface water, Johnson said during an Aug. 13 Campbell County School Board meeting.
Brookville High School Principal Tom Cole said on Aug. 22, a full two weeks later, over a short 30-second time span, the floor lifted up about a foot and a half from the goal line to about center court of the basketball court.
Cole said the gym was originally built in the early 1990s.
The gym currently is closed, and physical education classes are either occurring outside or in the school’s second gym.
“It’s a shame because a very short person could dunk the ball now, including myself,” Cole joked during a phone interview Thursday.
Brookville High School Athletic Director Larry Kidd said he’s been told it could be six to eight weeks until the gym is usable again.
Brookville has emptied out the weight room, wrestling room, mechanical room, storage room and “anything that has equipment in it,” Kidd said.
Kidd said portions of the gym floor are sitting 16 inches in the air right now because there is a subfloor underneath that must be replaced as well.
The division will have to replace the floor, subfloor, concrete underneath, “the whole 9 yards,” Kidd said.
Johnson said the division doesn’t know how much the replacement could cost, but it will work with the division’s insurance carriers to get a quote next week.
Once the division receives a quote, Johnson said the floor company will let the division know when it can begin repairs.
“We stressed to them the importance of moving us forward as quickly as they could to hopefully have it completed before basketball season gets underway,” Johnson said.
With the gym floor deemed a loss, Kidd said Brookville’s volleyball teams will play the majority of their scheduled home matches on the road at the scheduled visitor’s location.
Kidd said he also reached out to the University of Lynchburg, formerly Lynchburg College, to see if it can host two or three of Brookville’s scheduled home matches.
Brookneal Elementary School also had some flood damage underneath its gym floor, which still is being monitored, Johnson said.
“[Brookneal’s] damage does not seem to be, [as of Wednesday], as significant as Brookville’s,” Johnson said.
The flood damage comes almost four months after Brookville High School also suffered damages from the tornado that struck the Lynchburg area April 15.
The tornado mangled a set of bleachers at the school’s baseball field and damaged other important pieces of the baseball field, such as a pole that holds up netting behind the field that protects fans from being hit by foul balls as well as the netting itself. Portions of fences around the field and near other athletic facilities were bent significantly, and the home bleachers of the football field also were damaged. A hole also was punched into the roof of the Jim Whorley Field House, which opened in 2016.
Kidd said there are “still some things we haven’t settled as far as finishing claims,” inspecting lights and backstop work.
“It’s not a lot of stuff but still things we have to finish up,” Kidd said.
Cole said the division is still looking for a roofing company to fix the hole in the roof of the field house, but it has been sealed in the meantime.
“You have to keep perspective on things like [tornadoes and floods]. No one here on the premises has been injured. It could’ve been a lot worse for both those things. These are things that can absolutely be fixed, repaired and replaced,” Cole said. “It’s all going to work out. It’s going to be a fantastic school year, and we’re going to keep looking at all the positive things and move toward success rather than setbacks.”