Dry rot puts kink in middle school P.E. | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Dry rot puts kink in middle school P.E.

William Ferchland
Photos by Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Lake Tahoe Unified School District Facilities Manager Steve Morales stands inside the boys locker room at South Tahoe Middle School on Monday. The room will remain closed while repair of dry rot is completed.

Dry rot discovered in a wall in the boys’ locker room at South Tahoe Middle School will delay its opening and affect the physical education program for hundreds of students.

The discovery was made about two weeks ago during the first phase of a remodel and structural retrofit of the gym.

Repairs are needed for the exterior wall which will postpone installation of about 170 lockers along the wall, said Steve Morales, director of facilities for Lake Tahoe Unified School District.

Morales guessed it would cost $15,000 to $20,000 to fix the wall and take several weeks to reopen the locker room. The cost of the two-phase project, which will conclude next summer, is around $2.5 million.

The dry rot, caused by termites and water damage, was behind tile in the locker room, which is now gutted save urinals and a couple of benches.

Dry rot was also discovered under a section of floorboard in an exercise room.

Principal Jackie Nelson said the physical education teachers will meet today and discuss curriculum.

“I would think that they’ll probably rethink what (physical education) activities they’ll be doing in September,” Nelson said. “They’ll probably be doing a little bit of juggling and carry on just fine, knowing them.”

A slightly distressed physical education teacher Karin Holmes said roughly 800 students in seventh and eighth grade typically use the locker room. She guessed a contingency plan might include more team-building exercises rather than sports so school clothes might not become dirty.

“The whole thing is a mess,” she said.

The district’s 2006 construction season is devoid of large projects but filled with smaller-scale works including a $200,000 renovation of the high school theater.

The theater project includes replacing seats, lighting improvements and some reroofing. Occupancy will decrease to about 370 people since the width of seats will increase from roughly 18 inches to 21 inches, while the last row of seats has been taken out to make room for a lighting booth, Morales said.

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