Supplement Feature - September 2012
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A Court for Every Need

Improve Playability, Longevity Maintenance & More

By Julie Knudson

Yuba College

As with the water damage at the YMCA in Rome, sometimes you just don't know what you'll find when you remove an existing surface. Such was the case at Yuba College in Marysville, Calif. After removing an old wood floor, it was discovered that the depression underneath was deep and uneven. A wood floor was selected as a replacement, giving the surface uniformity and support even with the facility's less-than-ideal underlayment.

The result, said Tomas Rodriguez, the college's equipment manager, is an attractive court with playability that pleases head coach Doug Cornelius. "He's comfortable with the way the wood looks and the way it bounces," Rodriguez said. Even though the installation was tricky, Rodriguez said that Cornelius hasn't found any dead spots. "Everything is fine on it as far as that goes," he said. The sealant, however, didn't turn out the way they hoped. "It started chipping after about two months," Rodriguez said. The college is still working to resolve the problem, which affects the looks of the court but not its performance.

Both basketball and volleyball are played on the new surface, as well as a daily badminton class. Being a busy environment, Rodriguez said that the old floor "had more lines on it than you could shake a stick at."

During the installation of the new court, Cornelius was committed to developing a less obtrusive design. "He wanted to make sure that, if you were on the sidelines or in the stands, you would barely notice the badminton court," Rodriguez said. That mission was accomplished. A clean paint scheme adorns the new floor, and fans and players are no longer confused by a jumble of competing lines.

Frequent sweeping limits dust and dirt, and the new floor is typically damp mopped before game days. "They want to make sure it's not too slippery, so they'll mop it before the game and give it time to dry," Rodriguez said. Ensuring that students wear appropriate shoes and reducing traffic through the space has also helped keep the floor in top shape. "In the past, people walked on the floor because it was a way to go from one class to another," Rodriguez said. The building has since been redesigned, and transient foot traffic has dropped significantly.

"We're excited," Rodriguez said of the new floor. The wood on the old court was getting thin and developing cracks, and Rodriguez said there were a number of dead spots. Yuba's new court is a great-looking, great-playing step up. "Having something like this, you really appreciate the wood floor and what it looks like when it's new," he said.