St. Sebastian School gets new gym floor free of charge


Larry Holcombe/Daily Globe

A crew from Action Floors of Mercer, Wis., paints a new polyurethane floor they are installing at the St. Sebastian School in Bessemer. From left are, Charlie Leath from downstate Michigan, Cory Corullo from Hurley, and Guy Thomas, from Dalton, Ga. The floor was a gift to St. Sebastian and the community, according to Corullo, who heads up the company's synthetic flooring operation.


Bessemer - Action Floors of Mercer, Wis., is sprucing up the St. Sebastian School in Bessemer with a new polyurethane gym floor. And, it's free.

Cory Corullo, who heads up Action Floors' synthetic product lines, said the company considers the floor a gift to the community. "Bessemer is part of our community."

Action Floors is not new to the synthetic game, and it's growing, said Corullo.

"We do a lot of maple hardwood floors - we always have and we always will - but over the past 15 years we've been adding more and more synthetic surfaces," he said.

Corullo said Action Floors is using the St. Sebastian installation as a teaching tool. They're taking time-lapsed photos and short videos of the various stages of the operation, and plan to use them to train their sales reps and installers across the country.

Tri-parish secretary Michelle Fink said the people of St. Sebastian Catholic Church are elated with the gift.

"We're so happy. It's very generous of them," she said. "Cory called and was talking about what they wanted to do and when he said it would be free, I said, 'Wonderful.'"

Fink said the parish and the wider community use the building and its gym, that once served as St. Sebastian Catholic School.

Besides Head Start and a separate private daycare operation, the parish uses the facilities for youth education and events, Daughters of Isabella and Knights of Columbus functions, as well as periodic pasty sales. The Lions Club uses the place for a fundraising meal each Fourth of July.

Fink said the parish hopes to redo the floor in the kitchen.

Corullo and Fink both pointed out the need for gym time in the community, especially for youth teams.

One of the beauties of the polyurethane treatment is the original asbestos tiles were simply covered up and sealed by the new floor.

"There's no need to remove them and costly abatement," said Corullo.

Besides Corullo, Action Floors brought in a pair of installers from downstate this week - Charlie Leath and Scotty McDonald. Guy Thomas, of Dalton, Ga., came to help, as well. He works for Advance Polymer Technology, which supplies Action Floors with the chemicals for these types of installations.

Step 1 was to strip the wax off the old green tiles, then "we apply the high-performance, multi-function athletic floor system," he said.

That began as they glued down a 3/8-inch thick rubber mat, made of recycled tires. It comes in rolls, 5 feet wide and 80 feet long.

"The rubber gives the floor a shock absorption," said Corullo. "Some like a little more, some like it stiffer. This one is in the middle."

A coat of shiny polyurethane - as thick as a nickle - covered all that. And so it sat ready for paint on Wednesday morning.

Corullo said they paint all sorts of colors and the church picked a beige brown for the surface, with blue basketball lines and white for the volleyball lines. There is also a plan for a logo to be painted at center court.

The four worked quickly and deliberately in tandem as they painted to 5,050 square-foot surface. Thomas first poured a line of paint about 20 feet and began spreading with a roller on a long pole, before pouring a new line. Leath and Corullo followed with similar rollers, smoothing and finishing each section. McDonald was kept busy in one corner of the gym, mixing paint.

The game lines were to be painted today, and the logo some evening in the near future, said Corullo.

He said Action Floors has done quite a bit of synthetic floor work in the area, including most recently an epoxy floor in the Iron County Historical Society's home in the old courthouse in Hurley. They've also done similar floors in the Hurley K-12 School, and several area businesses.

Action Floors has also resurfaced a number of tennis courts in the area.


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