For the past few weeks, flooding brought by monsoon rains continued to be a problem for much of the city, but the consequences of dry summer months before the start of the monsoons are still being felt.
Flagstaff High School was forced to close the school's dome after tree roots made their way under the structure and into the concrete, allegedly in search of water said Bob Kuhn, Assistant Superintendent of Operations at Flagstaff Unified School District.
Although the floor began to raise gradually at first, Kuhn said, the southern corner of the nearly 18,000-square foot dome rose substantially in the last four months.
When surveyors the school brought in early last week cut through the hard wood floor and cut into the concrete underneath, they found that the roots had pushed the floor up as many as 8 inches.
Because of the dome's closure, the school has been forced to hold practices in other locations, sometimes at other schools such as Sinagua Middle School, but often just on outdoor courts. Kuhn said they hope to have the dome fixed and reopened come November to avoid bad weather.
This week the school found out how much the damage these roots caused will be putting them back. Kuhn said they will be asking the board for $600,000 for repairs and the school will likely have to tear up both the hard wood floor and the concrete before re-pouring it.
The dome is used extensively by all six of the high school's basketball teams for practice and tournaments as well as the city's recreational volleyball and even softball practice when the weather is bad in the spring.
The trees that caused the damage have also been removed, Kuhn said, adding that they have gotten their money’s worth as the floor of the dome hasn’t been touched since it was built 40 years ago.