Old Phs Gym A Little Thin On Top

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A town basketball tournament inside the old Payson High School gymnasium was postponed last week due to snow. The roof leaks so badly, there wasn't a dry spot to dribble.

"The eaves have been a problem for 10 years, but we haven't had the money to fix them," PHS Principal Phil Gille said. "The doors are shot and the glass above them has been knocked out by stray basketballs and volleyballs.

"When the snow started to melt last week, the roof started leaking and the floor got wet. If water seeps into the (wood) floor, that's going to be an expensive repair."

The roof was inspected by an engineer last week, Gille said, and it is still structurally sound.

School officials are waiting for repair estimates and plan to apply for emergency-repair funding from the state, Payson School Business Manager Bobette Sylvester said. It's likely, however, the state will deny the request, she said.

If that's the case, school officials will try to scrape the money together from the district's maintenance and operations budget to fix the roof, she said.

In the meantime, Payson's Parks and Recreation officials rescheduled last week's men's basketball tournament for this week.

As a precaution against bad weather, the first week of the two-week tournament, which started April 12, is being held at the Tonto Apache Tribe's gymnasium south of Payson. The second week will be held in the high school gymnasium.

The next round of town sports -- coed softball, youth softball, T-ball and youth soccer -- will be held outside and won't be affected by gymnasium roof repairs.

High school physical education students, who had to hold class outside last week, have moved back into the gym.

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