Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, the Robert Lee YMCA is a hub for residents who want to engage in a wide variety of athletic programs — from basketball and weight lifting to fitness classes and swimming. In addition to a 9,000-square-foot fitness area, the 92,000-square-foot facility features two studios designed for activities like yoga and Pilates, two squash/racquetball courts and a full-size gymnasium.
In 2010, the YMCA opened its doors after undergoing a $67 million renovation – a project that included Robbins flooring. The project was considered an overwhelming success, with membership climbing from 1,700 before the renovation to its current membership of more than 10,500.
As part of the renovation project, the Robert Lee YMCA invested in Robbins Flooring to address two specific needs – soft, resilient flooring versatile enough to provide a safe multi-use surface for athletic activities for youth, adults and seniors. It also had to be easy to maintain, said George Cornea, the operations manager at this YMCA in Greater Vancouver.
“We have had a good experience with the floor since opening our doors 8 years ago,” Cornea said. “It’s really easy to maintain. We haven’t had any major issues. And it addressed one of the major things that was important to us – a great floor that’s soft and good for play and doing any type of activity for kids and families.”
Cornea also said the basketball floor, which features a 10,000-square-foot Robbins MVP installation with maple, also has been getting high marks from members and visitors.
With the YMCA in downtown Vancouver serving as a hub for people of all ages and activity levels, including children, teenagers, families, seniors and adults, providing safe flooring was one of the foremost concerns, according to operations manager George Cornea.
“We definitely were thinking about minimizing the possibility of injuries” when selecting Robbins flooring, Cornea said. “It’s really good for that. We have the Pulastic floor in the family development area. The whole floor on the fifth floor is Pulastic floor We have a lot of activities going on in there – with kids and families, especially during the summer. There’s a lot of jumping and playing, throwing balls, watching TV … pretty much all types of activities. It really helps to have a floor like that when you spend a lot of hours playing on a surface.”
Years of research went into the construction of Pulastic line of flooring, including the Pulastic Pro 165 which was installed in the YMCA as part of its renovation project. The floor, which consists of recycled and renewable raw materials in the pad, was designed to be resilient while providing comfort and minimizing injury to users of the multi-purpose flooring.
Designed for various applications, the Pulastic Pro 165 has been an ideal surface for the various activities that take place in the YMCA, including gymnastics, martial arts, yoga and aerobics, according to Cornea.
In addition to providing a comfortable, safe surface, the Robbins flooring also has proven to be a top performer with maintenance and wear resistance, according to Cornea.
This was an area that was of significant concern to the operations team at the Robert Lee YMCA, especially with more than 10,000 people making up its membership.
It’s impossible to regulate what people are doing on a day-to-day basis when they come into the facility, Cornea pointed out. “Sometimes, people don’t have the right indoor shoes that they’re supposed to use in this type of facility. We can’t keep track of that,” he said. “And with some activities, they’re dragging chairs across the floor or dropping dumbbells or other heavier equipment on the floor. They can be quite heavy and we’re not supposed to do that.”
In spite of that abuse, the Robbins floors have continued to perform as well as they did the first day they were installed, Cornea said.
“With the Pulastic floor, we haven’t had any issues whatever. With the wooden floor, we have seen minor scratches from the dumbbells and chairs,” he said. “You can see them. But it’s a tough layer; it’s not going deep into the wood. We’re able to re-polish it and refinish it and it will be just as good as new.”
Overall, Cornea said, the Robbins floors have required little maintenance. “We have had a good experience since we opened 8 years go,” he said. “No maintenance worries, They’re really easy to maintain.”
In addition to the benefits of low maintenance and reducing the risk of injury among athletes, Robbins MVP and Pulastic Pro 165 floors have gained attention from the YMCA members in Vancouver.
According to Cornea, the floors have been among the reasons that they have received really positive feedback after renovations.
“Some of the people we got really good feedback from have asked how did we get that floor,” Cornea said. “They even said they would love to have it in their houses. It’s so soft, yet at the same time it really feels firm. You can play with a ball if you want, do a yoga activity or walk barefoot. It’s quite a big difference than other floors.”
An added bonus is the ability to change the look of the floor without a major investment in time or expense, Cornea said. “Based on what the manufacturer is telling us, if we decided to change the colors, it will only take two days – 8 hours to do the work and 24 hours total for it to cure. They told me it’s a really easy procedure,” he said. “That’s amazing. It’s not like other floors.”