WATERFORD – Students at the Waterford Memorial Elementary School will soon be playing on a new maple gymnasium floor after water damage forced the replacement of the old one.

“It’s first-rate maple,” said Anthony Spaziani of O’Sullivan Flooring in Quincy, Mass., of the three-quarter-inch maple that covers 4,500 square feet. “This wood will outlive you or me, as long as no water gets on it,” he said.

A water pipe froze and burst on a weekend in late January, and a school custodian found the floor covered with about one-half inch of water when school resumed.

The room, which is part of a 1995 addition to the school on Valley Road, is used as a gymnasium for physical education classes and some recreation program activities and as a cafeteria for the students.

Children have been eating lunch in their classrooms while the work is ongoing.

Dave Marshall, SAD 17 building and grounds director, said the school’s insurance company paid $56,000 to repair the floor and make renovations to the music room and kitchen where water damage also occurred.

The new gym floor is laid on plywood instead of directly on the concrete floor as the previous floor had been.

The company, which has worked on gymnasium floors throughout New England, began repairs last month and hopes to wrap it up shortly. Lines for the floor were painted Friday.

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