Located in the rapidly expanding community of Airdrie, just north of Calgary, Alberta, the Genesis Centre underwent an extensive renovation totalling nearly $50 million in the past decade. The three-phase expansion of the recreational facility included an aquatic center, an indoor soccer complex, a 200-meter track, a health studio and two NHL-sized ice arenas. The final phase of the 27,770-square-foot project was completed in December 2013.
The high-profile project included the installation of Robbins flooring – Bio-Cushion and Pulastic – to provide ideal surfaces for a range of activities, including gymnastics, track, soccer, dancing and fitness classes.
As with most clients in sports-related industries, several priorities emerged when choosing flooring for Genesis Place, according to Corey Heikamp, a construction manager for Centaur Products, a long-time Robbins dealer. In addition to cost, the client’s top concerns included the quality of the product and work, and the timeframe, Heikamp says.
Centaur was able to deliver on all three using Robbins flooring. “Our part of the project — from start of construction to finish — was about two months. And we were able to sell them on the quality of the product that we could supply through Robbins,” Heikamp said. “Without a doubt, those are the right surfaces for that facility.”
With the Robbins flooring, Centaur was able to address the challenge of providing safe, quality surfaces for the demands of different types of sports and activities in the Genesis project. “That particularly building has a variety of different Robbins surfaces,” Heikamp says. “There’s some hardwood floors in there, a dance floor, a Pulastic floor. The primary thing about those surfaces in this particular facility is the safety and performance they do provide the end user.
“Those things were of utmost importance to the client at the time of the build,” he added. “With the Robbins flooring, they have something that is going to stand the test of time but, at the same time, provide a real quality product for the athletes that are using it.”
As a community center that draws people of all ages and with varying athletic abilities, the Genesis Centre required a facility that ensured the safety of visitors. Years of research and testing have gone into the creation of Robbins flooring, which is designed to minimize injuries for people participating in different activities while providing a comfortable, resilient surface.
Understanding the biomechanical components of the flooring can too technical for lots of people, Heikamp says. However, it is critical in reducing the risks of long-term injuries.
“There’s enough research out there now. When people are leaving these facilities after a workout or a basketball game or whatever it may be and are extremely sore because of poor surface, they may not realize that they’re sore because the surface isn’t of good quality,” he said. “But they’re less likely to return. I know from day to day that I can tell when I played on a surface that’s good, whether that’s a Robbins surface or another brand that provides a high-quality surface, or whether it’s like playing in a gravel lot and you leave a little more sore.”
In addition to meeting concerns about safety, the Robbins flooring installed as part of Phase 2 of the Genesis project has been considered high performing on numerous levels.
In an interview with the Rocky View Weekly, shortly after the Phase 2 completion, a local coach explained what the new facility did for the Airdrie Edge gymnastics club. Jaime Atkin, the club’s coach at the time, said the expanded facility paved the way to many new opportunities for the team. “It’s fantastic in every way. We focused the demonstration on things we can do in the new facility that we could have never done in the old one.”
And, from a longevity standpoint, Robbins flooring also is a high performing product, Heikamp said. For example, the Robbins Bio-Cushion system that was installed in Genesis Place is designed to last at least 50 years with good maintenance, although most clients have the expectation to invest in a floor that will last 30 years, he said.
The Pulastic® flooring installed at the Genesis Place features a wide range of benefits, according to Heikamp. “There is very, very little risk with anything related to environmental factors, whether that’s water, high heat, high humidity, cold or low humidity,” he said. “There’s not a lot risk that a Pulastic® floor is going to expand or get damaged by environmental conditions.”
“The other thing that’s great about the Pulastic® is the multi-purpose use of it. Today, you could be playing a high-end volleyball game on it. Tomorrow, you could be setting it up with chairs and hosting a church event or a trade show or something along those lines. And it’s much easier to clean than hardwood.”
With the performance and safety offered by Robbins flooring, visitors to Genesis Centre are able to gain the same benefits as the professional athletes who regularly perform on high quality Robbins surfaces.
“We believe more focus needs to be put on providing better surfaces for the masses,” Heikamp said. “NBA players are playing on the best surfaces — premium surfaces that are very, very safe. And we have kids starting grade school who are playing on awful surfaces that are going to be extremely hard on their bodies over the long haul. And do they notice it on a daily basis? Nope, probably not. When they’re 40, is there going to be a higher likelihood of hip and back and knee injuries? Potentially.”
“Centaur and Robbins share the belief that young athletes also deserve the opportunity to play on the best surfaces so they can continue their athletic careers and be healthy going through it,” he added.