It’s not every day a high school basketball team has a floor equal to that of several NBA teams. But that’s the case at Archbishop Riordan High School, according to Annette Brown, chief financial officer of the San Francisco school.
Brown was also the project manager overseeing the installation of a patented Robbins MVP flooring system by authorized Robbins dealer H.Y. Floor and Gameline Painting, Inc. at the school in October.
While the top-of-the-line MVP isn’t typically seen in high school gymnasiums – in fact this was the first high-profile MVP installed in the San Francisco Bay Area – it’s even more unusual to have a playing surface on par, or more exceptional, than the pros. In fact the new MVP even led the Crusaders to the Central Coast Section Division III title this year!
Because the MVP is the best on the market, Archbishop Riordan High School officials turned to Robbins and Steve Heller of H.Y. Floor when they were planning a complete overhaul of their gym, the largest on the West Coast, according to Brown. Not only did they choose the MVP, but they selected a unique Boston Square maple parquet pattern to create a striking, bold look for the Crusaders – unlike anything else in the area.
“Steve’s came in to be the best overall bid in terms of quality, in terms of a known entity, and in terms of pricing,” Brown said. “He was an amazing contractor to work with.”
Brown said Heller’s team was professional, on time, on budget, and was respectful of the students still trying to learn during construction. But most importantly, everyone at the school thinks the 8,200-square-foot floor is outstanding, from the look to the quality and feel of the playing surface. It was such a remarkable transformation, the project was named a Sports Surface of the Year Finalist.
Built in 1949, the 68-year-old gymnasium was in dire need of a makeover. The current floor, at least 20 years old, was built atop the original floor, which had absorbed so much moisture, it was like walking on terrazzo tile, Brown said. At some point, another floor had been installed on top of the original, then removed. There was no denying the floor was in bad shape, filled with dead spots that made the floor a potentially dangerous playing surface.
“If you’re running and you hit a dead spot, you kind of feel like you’re going into a gopher hole,” Brown said. “And if you bounce the ball in one of these dead spots, the ball just kind of stays flat on the ground. It doesn’t really bounce back up.”
That’s not a good scenario for a basketball court, and because player health and safety is a top priority, the school made the collective decision to replace the floor with the safest sports floor in the industry, the MVP. It was a tedious process, removing two layers of flooring. The original floor had to be abraded with diamond grinder heads, the process taking nearly three weeks to complete. Plus, creating the Boston Square pattern is time-consuming.
“It’s a lot more work to do the Boston Square because not only is it harder to make sure everything lines up perfectly, but then when you sand because you’re crossing the grain it’s just more sanding to get the scratches out,” Heller said. “It’s just more work.”
Despite the challenges and extra difficulties, Heller not only got the job completed before the first big game, but his crews also had time to install new Douglas fir on the walls and remove, refinish and reinstall the original wooden bench seating in the gym.
“They look just beautiful,” Brown said, “They’re still from 1949, they’re old Doug fir, but they’re redone and shiny and new and really, really nice…the gym just looks amazing.”
About Robbins, Inc.
Robbins, Inc. is a privately held flooring company owned by the Stoehr family. Headquartered in Cincinnati, with sales offices in the U.S. and Canada, and manufacturing plants in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and the Netherlands, Robbins is the only U.S. flooring manufacturer with a full-time research and product development staff dedicated to providing eco-friendly, superior products and maximizing player safety. The MVP® (Maximum Vibration Protection) features Zero/G® Shockpad, elimination of resonance frequencies, continuous laminated subfloor panels, anchoring via resilient layer, unparalleled game-play response, extreme uniformity of ball bounce, deflection and force reduction, and is heavy load capable.
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