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Flooded Gym Forces Marauders Out

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Hanover — Hanover High School has been forced to find alternate practice and game arrangements for its basketball teams for at least the rest of the week after water from a burst pipe flooded the school’s gymnasium.

Around 2 p.m. on Monday, a pipe from the sprinkler system located in the hallway just outside the gymnasium burst, leaking water onto the floor. As Hanover grounds and maintenance director Jonathan Brush theorized, the burst most likely was caused by extreme freezing conditions outside.

By the time Hanover athletic director Mike Jackson reached his office, about an inch of water had pooled in the hallway and a little more than 2 inches had accumulated on most of the gym floor. It took about 30 minutes to clean up, but the damage to the gym floor had already been done.

Activities on Hanover’s gym floor, including basketball practices and games, have been canceled until at least Friday, Jackson said. The Marauders’ boys basketball game with Plymouth on Thursday night has been moved to Lebanon High’s Lang Metcalf Gymnasium. Alternate practice arrangements for the school’s girls and unified basketball programs remain a work in progress.

“There are these 2-inch cushions underneath the floor that allow some give when athletes run on it,” Jackson said on Tuesday. “That’s where the moisture accumulates and forces the floor to buckle.”

For Hanover boys basketball coach Tim Winslow, the situation is not exactly ideal.

“One of the things we try to preach is routine,” Winslow said. “This kind of challenges that routine. But you have to handle adversity. We’ll try to make it work the best we can.”

Hanover’s boys basketball team plays its final home game against Manchester West on March 3, and the girls basketball team will finish its season on Feb. 26 at home against John Stark. The status of those games and where they will be played has yet to be determined, Jackson said.

Marauders girls basketball coach Dan O’Rourke and his team noticed water leaking onto the gym floor during a Monday practice. With the school closed for Presidents Day and Hanover High’s maintenance crew not present, the girls stopped their drills and began pushing water into the hallway to keep the floor, which was installed in 2006, from suffering any significant harm.

Once the damage has been cleared, Brush said, his maintenance team will go back in and re-evaluate.

“This pipe situation will have to be relooked at,” he said. “That zone will probably get antifreeze and a check valve to hold the water back if the sprinkler head goes off.”

Though the final repair estimate is not yet clear, Brush hopes the worst of it has been avoided.

“(G.W. Savage Corp., a water reclamation company) will probably pump warm air in and try to evaporate most of the moisture out,” Brush said. “The process takes about five days.”

For Jackson, this couldn’t have happened at a worse time of the year.

“We’re hoping that the floor hasn’t buckled too much,” Jackson said. “We want to get it back to a playable, practicable condition as soon as possible. For now, we don’t do anything — practice or play — through Friday.”

In the meantime, Jackson said, he is coordinating with Hanover’s Ray Elementary School and Richmond Middle School, Norwich’s Marion Cross School and Lebanon High to set up times for Hanover’s basketball teams to practice. The boys and girls basketball teams will work out at Lebanon High this afternoon.

“Mike touched base with me (Monday),” Lebanon High athletic director Zac Stevenson said. “I told him if he needed anything to let us know. He called and asked if we could host their game on Thursday, and I said sure.

“We routinely do things like this. In the fall, our soccer team practices on their turf for the playoffs. ... We’re happy to help the neighbors.”

Josh Weinreb can be reached at jweinreb@vnews.com or at 603-727-3306.




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