Seniors are cracking jokes about the floor of the main activity room at the brand-new Parkinson Activity Centre.
For the city and flooring contractor, it's no joke.
Seniors say they noticed right away that the sprung wooden floor was developing cracks a much as one-16th of an inch wide, likely the result of wood shrinkage. City officials are now waiting for the flooring specialists to propose a solution with the work expected to be done during a summer shutdown in July.
"It's an esthetic and it's also a maintenance issue. It's a little hard to keep the floor clean if there is little cracks in it," said Steve Walker, a building technician in the city's design and construction services department.
"We found out about it right away. Just a little bit, like small spaces, but basically they're spread out throughout the entire floor."
The $4.1-million Parkinson Activity Centre was designed as a "slab on grade" but the city didn't want dancing and other physical activities on an unforgiving concrete floor. So spacers on the slab, which allow a little bit of movement, hold up a specially engineered plywood that has grooves for radiant heat tubes. A traditional tongue-and-groove hardwood floor was then nailed on top.
The flooring contractor was already scheduled to come in because a nail had gone through a plastic heat tube causing a leak in front of the activity room's entrance. The floor had been removed to fix the leak but "the floor was repaired a little too quick so there was still moisture below," said Walker. "That moisture came up through the floor and caused the boards to cup and warp a little bit."
Walker doesn't imagine the shrinking hardwood flooring can be squeezed back together, so repairs could involve filling the cracks or pulling the floor up and re-laying it.
"I think there's quite a bit you can do with that. The right guys can do magic," he said.
Both repairs are considered a warranty issue, so taxpayers shouldn't be on the hook.
Parkinson Activity Centre, which replaced the now-demolished Water Street Senior Centre,
officially opened on Nov. 22.