Aiea Gym Reopens After Three Months

Jessica Goolsby
Wednesday - March 10, 2010
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Aiea Gym is back in business after a costly break-in Nov. 8 that resulted in more than $27,500 in repairs to the flood-damaged floors (thanks to a broken emergency fire hose installation) and the replacement of the building’s electrical system.

The gym at Aiea District Park had been shut down in order to replace the lighting system for one month prior to the break-in and had been scheduled to reopen Nov. 9.

Needless to say, that didn’t happen. “Pretty much, that night when the gym closed someone broke in and did all the damage,” said Lester Chang, director for the city Department of Parks and Recreation. “Those people have not been found, and who knows what their motivation was? It literally looked like they had a hose fight, and they strewed toilet paper all over the place. They broke one of the emergency fire hoses off of the wall, and it made it so none of that water could be stopped, so it ruined the floor.


“It was malicious, no ifs, ands or buts,” Chang added.“There was nothing of value in the gym, and people know that. It was just very disappointing. Money we could’ve used elsewhere had to be used to fix all that damage instead of going toward other programs and toward the gym itself.”

International badminton and gymnastics tournaments had to be relocated, and basketball league play was disrupted during the three-month-long closure. Hundreds of gym users were also displaced, city officials said.

Chang said that drying, dehumidifying and monitoring the gym floor cost just under $23,000, and that patching and sealing the floor and applying a new coating cost around $4,900.

“We were lucky that the sub-area floor was able to be dried,” he added. “From November until we reopened it Feb. 16 it was dried and resurfaced, and we had to repair a couple holes and things. If we would’ve had to replace the floor, it would’ve been in the six-digit range.

“It’s unfortunate because hundreds and hundreds of people were not able to utilize the gym and we had to relocate lots of regular users of the facility,” he added. “It was senseless, and I don’t think the people that did it ever thought about how much of an inconvenience or how costly it would be.”

Chang said that though the presumed break-in spot has been refortified, he still wants people to be aware of the effects such things have on the community:

“If you’re reading this and you did it, just don’t ever do it again. You affected a lot of other people, and you need to know that. There are always greater consequences to your actions.”

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