Courtesy of The Lake Todayeldon middle school gym

School has only been out for less than a month, but already the summer of 2015 has been one of renovation and rebuilding for the Eldon School District.

In addition to the massive overhaul of Eldon High School’s fine arts building, new hardwood floor is being installed at the Eldon Middle School gym that should better meet the needs of the school.

The old surface of the gym was a tile-rubber system that only lasts anywhere from 10 to 15 years before it reaches the end of its lifespan. When the time came to renew the floor, Eldon Middle School Principal Shaun Fischer said that the school was ready to make an upgrade, both in the surface’s durability and the playing surface of the gym.

“We’re going to a hardwood floor. Initially, it’s more money, but it’s lifetime,” he said.

Fischer said the old floor required constant care and every decade or so meant ripping up the rubber floor and putting down another one. Now, the gym smells like a lumberyard. Slats of wood are carefully being put into place, and the gym should be set up well before school gets back into session.

The durability and quality of the new floor is not the only change hardwood will bring. The Middle School gym was set up in a way that the rubber playing surface for sports like volleyball, basketball and for Eldon Middle’s gym classes only took place on about 70 percent of the gym’s area, according to Fischer. Now, with the hardwood surface, that’s being changed to create much more room for activities.

“We’re extremely excited,” Fischer said. “What we had before was concrete, where people walked it was concrete. We’ve increased the extra floor space essentially.”

That extra space should come in handy for the middle school, but also for the varsity sports from Eldon High School that often use the gym at any time of the year.

“The middle school gym has always been used quite a bit in the summer,” Fischer said. “We host some of the Licking camps, so yes the high school uses it. We’ll have the Eldon Tournament. It’s always been a big tournament … and so we’ve been using the middle school for that.”

Fischer said the change has been a long time coming. In his sixth year as the principal at the school, he has been having discussions since he first started at his position about changing the gym.