KILAUEA — From the get-go, Bill Troutman says the Kilauea District Park gymnasium built after Hurricane Iniki has had its share of problems.
For years, leaks in the gym’s roof created a sometimes awkward situation for facility users like the Kauai Police Activities League players and coaches.
“I remember a dad standing underneath the basket with a towel on top of his head to catch the drips so the kids wouldn’t fall down,” said Troutman, who has run the KPAL basketball games at the Kilauea gym for the past 17 years. “It was a long fight to get the leaky roof fixed.”
But even after those leaks were fixed, further water leaks during heavy storms damaged the basketball court floorboards and created a slipping hazard.
County Department of Parks and Recreation officials say they hope to fix the problem once and for all within the next few months when county contractors will replace the damaged basketball court floorboards and repair areas that have caused the leaks over the years.
A $224,050 contract for materials, labor, transportation, tools, equipment, machinery and services needed to install and complete the repairs was awarded on Tuesday to Pacific Blue Construction, LLC, a Lihue-based general contractor.
“When the work is scheduled, we will review the impact on the activities held in the gym, and discuss possible alternatives with those who are impacted,” Department of Parks and Recreation Director Lenny Rapozo wrote in an email.
The project includes resealing the gymnasium’s roof and doors and installing a canopy above the doorway on the front of the building. The damaged floorboards will also be replaced, and the entire floor will be refinished and re-striped.
A notice for Pacific Blue Construction, LLC contractors to proceed with the 90-day job is tentatively scheduled to be issued in July.
Efforts to fix the problem, however, have taken some time.
The Honolulu-based engineering and design firm Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. was awarded a $119,723 contract two years ago for consultant and design services to identify the source of the longstanding leaks and develop solutions to fix it.
Their report on the Kilauea gym, issued last year, determined that the floor damage “was caused by the moisture that seeped from the walls and the rain that made its way through the doorway on the front of the building (Lihue side),” Rapozo wrote in an email.
Kilauea School teacher Heather Devin, a basketball coach for the Kauai Police Activities League, said she has heard about the longstanding water leaks but has experienced very few issues in the one month since she started conducting practices at Kilauea Gym.
“We haven’t had any problems at all at this time or so far — everything has been really good,” Devin said. “I’ve heard that there are leaks, and I know that, during our spring break, we couldn’t practice because supposedly they were working on some repairs then, but other than that, I haven’t experienced any of the problems.”
Despite the scheduled fixes, Troutman said he remains apprehensive about whether it will solve the problem for good.
“The side door is what needs to get fixed, but to tell you the truth, a $10 roll of duct tape could solve the problem,” Troutman said. “I had heard a little about building a block wall, putting a canopy out there and everything else, but to tell you the truth, you can probably fix it for $500 because all it needs is a metal awning to go out a little way.”