Feature Article - October 2006
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Fixtures Fixation

What to consider when outfitting sports facilities

By Daniela Bloch

Lock it up

All that equipment and nowhere to put it, eh? Storage keeps a facility looking sharp and functioning smoothly, so invest in it and stay organized. Even here, think affordable, visually pleasing and functional.

"We got our storage containers from a local place," Colagiovanni says. Sometimes keeping things local reduces costs, especially for shipping and handling.

And once again, think multipurpose.

"We keep storage off to the side during practices," he says. "In our football and soccer stadiums, we have different areas for storing equipment, and once the season is over, we use the space for storage. We put our logos on them and we use storage pods for our summer camps."

Make the best of the spaces offered by fields, stadiums, gyms and locker rooms. Research sizes, costs and manufacturers.Think bright colors and possible logos and purchase well-researched, quality products.

Storage is absolutely essential to the success of any facility so it goes without saying that this is certainly one imperative place to invest wisely in, so invest.

Bottom line: Invest, organize, decorate and then revel in an organized bliss that won't have your facility operating poorly or looking shoddy.

Preventative measures

A big part of outfitting any facility involves safety. When it comes to safety of fixtures and equipment, be compulsive.

"Utilize preventative maintenance," Colagiovanni says. "Check the fields to make sure there are no holes or divots, check the lighting, ensure rails and seats are secure, that there are no spills. For the basketball goals, make sure they are sturdy so that when students are dunking, the backboards don't just snap off. Make sure there are no broken bleacher pieces for students to trip on. And signage is important too—warn people ahead of time with rules for athletic areas."

An unsafe facility is an empty facility, so consider all potential dangers or accidents. Brainstorm with a group about regular maintenance checks, what safety equipment to buy for athletic programs, first-aid kits and emergency contacts to use, how to handle emergencies, and the underlying need to make sure the facility and all equipment is clean, safe and user-friendly.

Bottom line: Check, check and check again. Do everything in your power to make your facility as inviting and secure as possible.