Renovated Floors for Six Albemarle Gyms
As school began this year, elementary physical education teachers in six Albemarle County schools had a surprise in store for their students. Over the summer, Broadus Wood, Meriwether Lewis, Red Hill, Scottsville, Stone-Robinson, and Woodbrook renovated their gymnasiums and installed new athletic flooring. The new floors provide a more flexible solution accommodating all types of physical education activities and special event seating, as well as providing safety and shock absorption for all users.
ACPS educators and facility managers met with BCWH along with County Parks and Recreation leaders to discuss the various types of flooring solutions. All of the existing spaces had vinyl composite tile (VCT) flooring with a low slip resistance and resilience which is not the ideal surface for indoor recreational use. Interior Designers, Erin Richardson and Laura Miller and Architect, Charles Tilley researched all the available floor solutions used for recreation including hardwood, rubber, indoor-turf, and vinyl. Although floating hardwood floors are the County’s preferred surface for gymnasium flooring, it proved to not be the most cost effective given the challenges with the floor system thickness and existing floor conditions. After presenting the findings, Albemarle County and the design team agreed that sports vinyl best fit the parameters for the projects. Sports vinyl provided resilience and slip resistance necessary for these floors while providing a durable and easy to maintain “wood look” that the County desired.
The new floors have created a safer atmosphere for the students to learn, providing greater traction and comfort than the original vinyl composite tile. Teachers helped design custom game lines into the new floors, so students are able to play a variety of games and activities without the need of extra equipment or floor tape. After one month in use, the students and teachers have really embraced the change. “It has been awesome! We did yoga the other day and we no longer need mats,” says Scott Williams, Meriwether Lewis Elementary School’s P.E. teacher.
With these new floors, Albemarle has been able to find the most economical and durable solution for their gymnasium floor replacements that provides the maximum amount of comfort available in a resilient flooring system while providing for ease of maintenance and durability.