The Gillespie Group and UZIN® Flooring Team Up for Renovation

Jul 6, 2017 | Managing Construction Process | 1 comment

Doing a gymnasium floor renovation under normal conditions is a big job with a lot of variables to deal with. In this case however, when the Gillespie Group took on the gymnasium floor renovation at Passaic High School, they faced some extra challenges. Here’s the story.

A high school gymnasium is more than a room where sports, meetings, and activities take place: it’s also thought of as the heart and soul of educational communities across the nation. When Passaic High School, Passaic, NJ, couldn’t use their gym last December due to a moisture-soaked, buckled floor because of steam rising from the boiler room below, it rapidly became a crisis scenario. A roof leak made things worse and contributed to the gym floor’s rapid deterioration.

Barry Stein, business administrator for the school district, needed a gymnasium floor renovation that could address the moisture problem, be installed quickly, and of course, be absolutely level. John Gillespie, vice president of Gillespie’s operations and Stein created a logistics plan to address the challenges in a very quick six-week timeframe. Gillespie recommended UZIN® Flooring: a reliable, self-leveling base floor that spreads evenly, and is designed for moisture control conditions like the one at Passaic High School. Gillespie had used UZIN for several similar school-based flooring projects.

The project required removing the existing gym flooring, shot blasting and working around the bleacher areas. They also had to allow three weeks to cure the 2.5” UZIN base before installing the finished floor. Gillespie managed the entire new floor installation as a turnkey project.

Keeping a Gymnasium Floor Renovation Like New

Gymnasium floor renovation benefits from the right moisture resistant base
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Too much moisture does a lot of damage. Wood expands and contracts based upon the amount of moisture in the air. If excessive moisture gets into a wood floor, it will cause the floor to either cup or crown. Cupping occurs when individual boards bend upward at the edges because they have run out of space to expand horizontally due to moisture intake (a “U” shape). Crowning is the opposite – the center of the board bends upward, making the middle higher than the edges (an upside down “U” shape).

Gillespie suggests the following regimen to properly maintain gymnasium wood floors:

  • DAILY: Sweeping with a dust mop coated with approved maintenance products keeps the floor free from dust, grit and abrasive particles. Keep all walk-off mats clean too.
  • MONTHLY: Remove foreign debris and clean entire floor with approved floor cleaner.
  • ANNUALLY: Inspect the surface and re-coat with a new coat of finish at least once a year.
  • ONGOING: Maintain the gymnasium HVAC system at a temperature range of 55-80 degrees, and 35-50% relative humidity.

Smiles All Around

Gillespie completed this gymnasium floor renovation within the six-week timeline, and the school district was delighted with the results. Kimberly Kenny, athletic director for the high school also noted she received favorable feedback on the floor’s quality from parents, and from the athletes.

The Gillespie Group

Headquarters in Dayton, NJ, Gillespie is a family-owned New Jersey-based business since its founding in 1985. This nationwide commercial flooring and carpet company offers a unique combination of consultation, product knowledge, industry experience, technical expertise, responsive service, and proven reliability. It is a member of the New Jersey State Approved Co-Op of The Educational Services Commission. The staff has deep knowledge of carpet and flooring materials and their performance characteristics. The team of expert technicians and installers are trained and certified by major manufacturers to ensure the highest quality workmanship.

“We know how critical the gym is to a school from a functional standpoint, and its close connection to school pride and spirit. It puts a logistical strain on the entire school when the gym cannot be used,” noted John Gillespie, vice president of Gillespie operations. “We work with UZIN® regularly, as the product is reliable and consistent in terms of installation and long-term performance.”


“The UZIN® flooring provided the perfect moisture-absorbent base to solve our problem, and the gym was ready in time for the first volleyball game of the tournament. The Gillespie Group’s knowledge and workmanship was amazing,” said Barry Stein, business administrator for the Passaic School District.

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