Damage keeps Blair Oaks gym closed for months

The Blair Oaks High School gymnasium will remain closed for several more months.

The Blair Oaks High School gymnasium will remain closed for several more months as crews clean up damage from a July storm.

Superintendant Jim Jones initially hoped to have the gym open by the start of the school year, but said Thursday it probably won't be ready until November.

"The extent of the damage was a whole lot worse than what we wanted to believe initially," Jones said.

"We've had to replace a lot of the drywall in the ceilings downstairs, as well as a lot of ceiling tiles, gonna have to repaint the gym floor, replace the roof of the gymnasium and now we're looking at tearing out the gym floor and replacing it as well."

Replacing the floor will be the longest, most expensive task, but locker rooms and offices downstairs also sustained water damage.

The high school's volleyball team, which usually plays in the school's gym, will play most of their home games at Lincoln University.

This was the first year the gym was going to have air conditioning for fall sports.

While Jones hopes the gym will be finished by basketball season, if the team can't play in the gym they'll adjust the schedule when the time comes.

But the gym's purpose also extends beyond extracurricular activities.

"This is a classroom every single day for our students here at Blair Oaks," Jones said.

"Obviously on the days that are nice we'll be able to go outside, but we'll use our wrestling facility as well as our weight room facility and then also use the Falcon Athletic Complex when time allows."

Jones said Thursday he expects the total cost of repairs to be just under his initial estimate of $400,000.