The Beverly Hills High School Swim Gym is a bit of a legend in the world of gym floors. The swim gym at Beverly Hills High School combines something unheard of in your typical gymnasium- wood and water! Located approximately 5 ft above the 23m swimming pool, the gym floor was constructed to divide in the middle and retract under concrete bleachers to expose the pool for swimming events. This unique gym floor was designed and constructed in 1939 and is still in full use today. It is also a very iconic floor as it was used for filming the “pool party” scene in the nostalgic movie “A Wonderful Life” in 1946, in addition to being featured in several other movies and TV shows. See the clip from “A Wonderful Life” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rha-6qG4OQ
After various instances where water damage had affected the quality and structure of the floor, the decision was made to replace the floor. Beverly Hills High School called on Robbins dealer, Pacific Floor Company, a trusted vendor since 2002, to replace the floor. Pacific recommended Robbins Bio Channel Star flooring for its excellent performance and to minimize the possibility of moisture traveling under the floor.
Building a floor that not only sits atop a swimming pool, but is also retractable comes with its own set of unique challenges. As we all know, wood and water does not mix. If the proper measures are not taken during installation, the humidity that accumulates from a pool can affect the integrity of the gym floor. We asked Mark Herthel, Sales Manager at Pacific Floor Company, to explain the measures that were taken to ensure the successful installation of this atypical gym floor “the challenges for this floor is the humidity issues from the pool and moving it back and forth. We installed the Bio-Channel Star to prevent moisture transfer under the floor and between any sleepers. We closed off the sides to protect the subfloor and we used 1-1/2″ XL-PLUS for a more stable floor. We also closely monitored the humidity in the gym. The building does not have de-humidifiers, however they have a good exhaust system to circulate the air. We also made sure the exhaust fans under the bleachers were working as the floor can be stored under them for considerable time. A HOBO was also used to monitor conditions during the install”.
Over 6,000 square feet was installed and just recently completed in October 2016. A video of the floor opening can be seen here on the Robbins YouTube channel. The Swim Gym was also chosen as a finalist in the 2016 Sports Surface of the Year contest which recognizes the hard work and dedication of Robbins dealers. The winner will be announced in May 2017.
About Robbins Sports Surfaces
Robbins Sports Surfaces, a division of Robbins, Inc., is a privately held, 4th generation family-owned flooring company based in Cincinnati, OH with sales offices across the U.S. and manufacturing plants in Michigan and Wisconsin.
The NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers play on a Robbins Sports Surfaces “All Star” brand floor at their home court, Quicken Loans Arena, and practice on more than 18,000 sq. ft. of the company’s “Bio-Channel Classic” flooring, one of the top floor choices among NBA franchises. The Cavs have played home games on Robbins floors since 1974.
More NBA teams compete and train on Robbins flooring than all other competitors combined, with 90% of NBA teams owning the company’s competition and/or training facility floors. Past NCAA men’s basketball champions Connecticut, Duke, Kentucky, Indiana and North Carolina play their home games on a Robbins floor.
Robbins Inc. has registered 25 patents over the years, with additional patents pending, and is the only U.S. flooring manufacturer with a full-time research and product development staff. Robbins’ unique capability and understanding of the biomechanical interaction between the athlete or performer and floor have recently led to new designs that reduce vibration and increase uniformity, both of which improve performance, comfort and safety.
In addition to Robbins Sports Surfaces, Robbins, Inc. is also the owner of Stoehr Flooring, a high-end residential flooring business, and majority owner of Egis Floorlife, an innovative after-market service business. Robbins also has a theater and dance floor division known as Robbins Performing Arts, which is dedicated to the development of performing arts floor systems that enhance the safety and comfort of performers.