The cupping of the gym floor at Lakes Community High School is not likely perceptible to the average eye but school officials noticed and have taken emergency action to head off damage.
"You have to know what you're looking for," said Jim McKay, superintendent of Antioch-Lake Villa Area High School District 117. "This is really a proactive measure."
During a special meeting Dec. 10, the school board unanimously agreed to a no-bid contract with Diemer Plumbing of Antioch for an estimated $65,000 to repair a leaking drainage pipe.
The district didn't have time to wait for specifications to be prepared and go through the bid process, according to the agenda for the special meeting.
According to that source, water is collecting near the footings of the gym and auditorium, which will cause structural problems if the district can't stop the flow of water. The flow is causing sidewalks outside to sink and cupping in the wooden flooring inside the building, according to the district.
McKay said maintenance workers noticed the imperfection in the gym floor.
"There's no other indication of moisture but because we had experience with this before, we caught this rather quickly," he said.
An investigation showed a pipe, known as a drain tile, beneath the gym is not draining and is full of water. McKay said the pipe is about 18 feet deep and a repair will require extensive digging.
If the problem is not corrected, parts of the building would become unusable, according to the district.
The main gym at Lakes was closed for nearly four months in 2009 because water vapors trapped between the concrete slab and floor seeped into the wooden floor boards. A portion of the floor was replaced at a cost of about $85,000, according to McKay.