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Gym floor to be replaced at Long Beach center

City of Long Beach employees Michael Malone, left,

City of Long Beach employees Michael Malone, left, Henry Hall, Kyle Kielkowski and Juan Parra remove dry wall during repairs to the Long Beach Martin Luther King Center which was damaged during superstorm Sandy. (Feb. 15, 2013) (Credit: Steve Pfost)

Long Beach has selected a firm to replace the gymnasium floor at its Martin Luther King Center, which supporters say is a critical piece of reopening the facility post-superstorm Sandy.

Reconstruction of the center, which Sandy heavily damaged, commenced on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The gymnasium likely will be the last piece of the center to be restored, city officials have said.

Snap Sports, a Utah firm, will furnish and install a new 8,300-square-foot floor for the gym at a cost of $48,521, the city council unanimously voted Tuesday.

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James Hodge, chairman of the board of directors for Long Beach Martin Luther King Center Inc., which runs the facility, said reopening the center is “major to the community,” especially for the children who rely on it for recreation programs and tutoring.

“It is critical for us to get the gym room flooring in,” Hodge said. “Everything is falling into place.”

Hodge declined to speculate when the center could reopen.

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