The construction of the new roof on the old Payson High School gym is expected to be completed soon.
Photo by Andy Towle.
The high school gym project might be complete soon — or not.
The old gym had years of renovations and built-on rooms that constantly threw the builders for a loop, delaying completion of the roof project.
But every renovation has surprises and the Payson High School gym did not disappoint. Renovators hope to finish up in the next few weeks, however.
The project started last school year because the gym needed an upgrade on the roof after staff noticed water collecting in the roof in a deepening dip.
“We replaced the 93-foot beams because the design caused a sag in the roof,” said Amon Construction foreman Jason Amon.
Amon went on to explain that with remodels, every day unearths a new, unexpected problem.
Todd Poore, the manager of facilities for the Payson Unified School District, couldn’t agree more. He acted as the point man for the school on the project.
Poore said the original building was completed sometime in 1967. Since that time, the gym has had numerous add-ons, such as the stage.
These additions made life interesting for the builders.
“We didn’t know what was in the walls because of remodels,” he said.
When builders discovered how the walls were built, they had to adjust how they proceeded.
However, the longest delay came from the wait for the shop drawings of the steel beams, said Poore.
“The architect designs it, then the plans go to the steel fabricators for design, then the architect has to review it,” he said. That process took much longer than planned.
Other things that delayed completion: the overhang on the new roof blocked ducts coming out of the boys weight room and the builders found asbestos.
“We had to get additional abatement and air clearances for that,” said Poore.
The good news — the project is still within budget guidelines and should reach completion soon.
The project was one of the few capital improvements approved for public schools in the whole state last year. The Legislature took over responsibility for school construction budgets after a court ruled that the old system of funding construction through local property tax created an unconstitutional system of rich districts and poor districts. However, in the past three years the Legislature has diverted millions needed for school maintenance and construction to reducing the annual budget shortfall.