Petaluma High School is selling memories. A long-anticipated and much-needed replacement of the floor in the Petaluma gymnasium has made available for sale sections of the old floor. Proceeds will help finance further renovations at the gym.

Petaluma High School was built in 1873 and this year is celebrating its 140th anniversary. The gymnasium is not quite that old, but Trojan athletes who have played in the gym in recent seasons might believe that the floor dated back to the 19th century. The floor was buckling in areas and in other places there were dead spots where a dribbled basketball would suddenly plop and fail to return to the dribbler.

"It was a project that needed to be done," said Petaluma assistant principal Bennett Holley. "This gym is used not only by the school, but the community. The gym and our pool are used all the time by the community."

The initial plan for the new floor called for only the playing area to be redone, but as workmen got into the project, they discovered that the roll-away bleachers that cover the sides and one end of the gym would not work unless the entire floor was redone to match,

The project also calls for replacing and upgrading the gym's lighting.

The work is being done by HUR Flooring from Van Nuys.

The project wasn't quite finished by the time school opened this week, and Holley noted there will be some disruption for volleyball practice and gym classes, but the disruption will be short.

The project is expected to be completed by Sept. 9.

The new floor is Phase I of an overall project to renovate the gym.

Phase II is to replace the bleachers and create a new entrance to the gym. Plans call for the new entrance to be through the adjoining Frank Martinez Field House and include an area for ticket taking and a new concession stand.

The school district has paid for the floor replacement, but doesn't have the funds to pay for Phase II, estimated at around $300,000. Officials hope to raise part of those funds though the sale of the old floor and its memories.

A recommended donation for a 400-foot by 600-foot section of the floor is $500; recommended donation for a 1-foot by 1-foot section is $100. In addition, the Petaluma High School woodshop students are using portions of the old floor to fashion picture frames and other decorative items.

"This is a chance to own a piece of Petaluma history," said. Holley. "There are a lot of memories in that old floor."

For information on how to obtain a piece of the Petaluma High School gymnasium floor, contact Holley at 778-4944.