Jessica Prokop

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October 22, 2013
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South Umpqua High School floored by community support

MYRTLE CREEK — The South Umpqua High School gymnasium reopened last week following months of construction on a new floor.

The floor, designed to absorb shocks and have a softer feel, replaced the gym’s original floor built in 1965.

The old floor was worn out and parts of it were coming up, said Lisa Leming, president of the high school booster club.

The booster club, South Umpqua Schools Foundation and Cow Creek Umpqua Tribe helped raise more than $120,000 for the floor.

The high school held a short ceremony Thursday night before a varsity volleyball game against Douglas High School to recognize donor organizations. South Umpqua Principal Dan Cohnstaedt, who is new to the position, presented certificates to representatives from each one.

“For a community of our size, it gives us a tremendous source of pride,” South Umpqua School District Superintendent Steve Kelley said. “It’s always nice for visiting teams to see and use nice facilities.”

The community had been fundraising for about three years to accumulate enough money for the project, said Claire Johnson, the school district’s accounts payable clerk.

“It had been an ongoing kind of project. When the three (groups) got together, it came together a lot quicker,” Johnson said.

The floor was originally expected to cost $100,000. When the old floor was pulled up, however, contractors found excessive moisture in the concrete slab. Correcting the problem cost another $20,000, Kelley said.

Portland-based Brandsen Hardwood Floors started constructing the floor in late July. One other company, A-Game Courts in Gervais, bid on the project.

High school teams used Coffenberry Middle School’s gym during the closure.

About a dozen teams use the high school gym during the school year. All large district events, such as Coffenberry’s graduation ceremony, are also held in the high school gym.

“It really is the community center when we have school events,” Kelley said.

Last year, the school installed upper bleachers in the gymnasium after the booster club and foundation raised approximately $45,000. The district also replaced the roof, Kelley said.

Within the last 10 years, the gymnasium has been painted and new lower bleachers installed, he said.

Leming said all of the upgrades show the school’s renewed pride.

• Reporter Jessica Prokop can be reached at 541-957-4209 and

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The News-Review Updated Oct 22, 2013 03:28PM Published Oct 23, 2013 12:58PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.