LACONIA — "It was much needed and will be well used, said Amy Lovisek, assistant director of parks and recreation, eying the new floor at the Community Center.
Lovisek said that the original birch floor was laid in 1931 when the building, which began life as armory, was constructed. During the past five weeks the playing surface has been replaced with a top-grade maple floor over half-plywood, which features the city's logo in green at center court. The floor is lined for basketball and two pickle ball courts. She said that the floor has five coats of urethane and is scheduled for a sixth coat later this year.
The Parks and Recreation Department began requesting funds to replace the floor in 2005. Lovisek said that the floor had been sanded and refinished five times and had become thin and spongy in places. "There were dead spots where you'd dribble the basketball ball and it would just stop," she explained.
Lovisek said that the project cost approximately $65,000, which was drawn from a reserve fund for the maintenance and repair of municipal facilities.The work was done by O'Sullivan Flooring Inc. of Quincy, Mass.
"It will get lots of use," she continued.
The gymnasium hosts 34 different programs with almost 27,000 participants each year and is in use approximately 64 hours during a normal week. Last weekend, the center began opening on Saturdays, when families are welcome between 10 a.m. and noon, pickle ball players from 1 to 3 p.m. and basketball players from 3 to 5 p.m.