Again–After July Sewage Spill Warps the New Wood
The aging small gym floor at the Palisades Recreation Center was finally replaced in early July with money from the L.A. Clippers organization and team owners Steve and Connie Ballmer.
The group had made a multi-million-dollar donation to the L.A. Parks Foundation for the renovation of nearly 350 basketball courts in city parks.
Our Rec Center, because its two gyms and outdoor court were in such bad shape, was one of the first parks to benefit from the grant. Nearly 600 local kids participate in Rec Center basketball program.
The floors looked beautiful, and then on July 19, sewage backed up from the non-ADA compliant bathrooms and spilled onto the small gym floor, even seeping into the Rec Center office.
Although it was a Sunday, Park Director Erich Haas reached out and found maintenance help that same day. He and a co-worker also pitched in to clean.
Alas, even with that quick action, the moisture went under the floor causing the newly refinished boards to curl up.
When Circling the News stopped by on July 31 to take photos of the newly repainted gym, we could see that part of the floor would need to be replaced. We learned that a contractor was coming out to give a bid on the new flooring.
CTN asked if the “sewage” problem had been addressed. No one was sure, so we contacted L.A. Rec and Parks Park Director Michael Shull and asked, “Do you know why the bathrooms backed up and if that problem has been resolved? It seems to me that until the sewage/pipe/bathroom issue is resolved, fixing the floor will be an ongoing issue.”
Shull responded: “I was unaware of the issues related to the gym floor. I would expect staff are aware and if not are included in this email and have a plan to repair. Kent [Hesselgrave] and Jimmy [Newsom]. Please provide update on repair.”
Newsom responded in a July 31 email: “Emilio is coordinating the floor repairs on Monday with Roy’s Flooring. Kent is currently investigating the sewer backup issue/s and will report back.”
Hesselgrave wrote in a July 31 email:
“The sewer blockage was addressed on two separate occasions. On Sunday, July 14, a plumber was dispatched for an emergency call. He was able to clear the blockage and drains to normal operation.
Three days later, Hesselgrave wrote: “Another emergency call was placed, and plumbers responded. Due to the recurring stoppage, staff made additional efforts to check and clear line. Staff utilized a root cutter to help eliminate root intrusion discovered in piping. Since that event operations have been normal.
“I am asking Staff to camera the affected area to be sure we have cleared everything possible. I also want to verify separate sewer lateral locations and check installation,” Hesselgrave said. “Please be aware that the sewer system in a commercial/public setting is constantly subject to blockages from heavy use, vandalism, homeless misuse of facilities and of course the aging infrastructure and pipe intrusion.
“I am checking with Staff to see if anyone had knowledge of the water entering the gym floor and address the procedure for this type of issue with all parties,” Hesselgrave said. “The floor contractor has already been out to the site and will work to repair the floor as soon as possible. Nobody is less happy than I am with any loss to the gains we are making to improve our Parks.”