For more than 20 years, carpet covered wood flooring in Chandler High School’s Old Main building. Now the flooring — with most parts dating back to the 1920s — will be resurrected.
“It’s a work in progress,” said assistant principal Steve Galas.
The restoration of the wood is just the first step toward preserving the oldest school building still in use in the East Valley.
In December, district officials pulled up the carpet to have it replaced, but decided to see what could be done with the wood flooring beneath it, said Frank Fletcher, associate superintendent for support services.
“On a whim one day, we pulled a section (of wood) up and had it refinished,” Fletcher said.
The refinished square revealed a bright yellow maple, a stark contrast to the rest of the building.
Students already walk on the floors, which are covered in remnants of dried carpet glue. Large squares of mismatched wood dot the hallways where damaged wood was replaced over the years.
Fletcher said the district wants to refinish and replace wood flooring both upstairs and downstairs and restore wood accents such as baseboards and banisters. The plan is to have the project completed by the start of school in July.
The project could cost around $250,000.
After seeing the floors, staff and alumni have asked Galas why it was covered in the first place.
“I think it’s pretty cool that it’s going back to the way it was,” said Veronica Tess, a Chandler High alumna and history teacher at the school.