When Tony Rewa contacted Foster Specialty Floors last summer for a quote on a new gym floor, not only did he wind up getting a stunning new sports surface, but he also formed a long-term partnership for the future.
Rewa, facility director for PrepNet, a charter high school system network in Michigan, needed to replace an old, outdated, peeling vinyl gymnasium floor at Taylor Preparatory High School. He found Foster Specialty Floors, an exclusive Robbins dealer, through an online search.
“The floor that was in there was a vinyl sports floor and it just had reached its peak in life,” Rewa said, noting the 28-year-old vinyl was bubbling, tearing and separating, making the floor unsafe. “I had gotten numerous quotes from all over.”
But it was Foster, winner of last year’s Robbins Sports Surface of the Year (SSOTY) Award for their installation for the Michigan State Spartans, who helped find the perfect floor for the project. Vice President of Sales Jordan Foster, part of the fourth generation of the family-owned business, walked Rewa through all the options and presented him with a floor that would best fit Taylor Prep’s need for a multipurpose surface while respecting budgetary constraints. Jordan took his time, detailing the pros and cons of the various floors including hardwood and vinyl surfaces.
They ultimately selected the synthetic Pulastic® Classic 90 sports floor system, a high-performing seamless synthetic flooring system that is durable and versatile. The poured urethane surface won’t peel or bubble like vinyl, is easy to maintenance, and lasts for decades.
“Pulastic is poured as a liquid so it gives you that nice seamless, smooth look,” Rewa said. “It also worked out with all my doorway transitions so we didn’t have to change any of that. And if the floor ever was damaged, chipped, stained, whatever, they can always come in and they can cut a little chunk out and replace it and basically flow it back together with almost a seamless look.”
Rewa said in the sports world everyone wants a wood floor, but for the Taylor Prep Tigers there were too many obstacles with a hardwood surface. Rewa said Jordan reassured him that the Pulastic system would meet and exceed his needs based on performance, aesthetics, cost-effectiveness and ease of maintenance. Rewa wanted to install the right product so the floor would last. Plus, with a 25-year warranty, he couldn’t lose. Now nearly a year later, he is still thrilled with his choice.
“He felt really strongly that I would be pleased with it and the warranty system on it, how it reacted, and the budget,” Rewa recalled. “It’s been an impressive floor in many different aspects. It’s really a floor that you kind of set it and forget it. There’s really not a lot of upkeep for us and with the way they did all the painting on there, it’s really pretty hard to tell that it’s not that old traditional wood floor.”
Jordan said they have Pulastic installations that are 30 years old and still in great shape because Pulastic can be refurbished to extend the floor’s life.
“You can kind of always resurface it or make it last more or less forever,” Jordan said. “It doesn’t wear out like a vinyl floor would. Even with a wood floor, if you were sanding it and refinishing it, eventually you’d sand through all the wood that was there and with this one you wouldn’t. You would resurface it, pour more of the resin on top, do repairs, repaint it, do whatever to keep the base mat intact and still resurface the top.”
The 8,800-square-foot installation took three weeks and features a main basketball court with two cross courts and a main volleyball court with two cross courts, and is now the pride of the school. Not only do the Tigers’ basketball and volleyball teams love the floor, but so do visitors. Rewa said he gets compliments on the comfort and look of the floor all the time.
Rewa was so satisfied with the project that Foster is currently working on another gymnasium install for Rewa at Westfield Preparatory High School. The building, set to open in the fall, will feature the very first installation of the new Robbins VCP II system, an anchored hardwood maple system featuring Robbins Continuous Strip® XL.
Rewa said he will rely on Foster and Robbins for his flooring needs for the schools he oversees from now on, and Jordan describes the partnership as the ideal customer relationship.
“We worked really well together on the Taylor Prep project and everything’s been going really smoothly at the Westfield project,” Jordan said. “It’s exactly the type of business-customer relationship that we like to have. There’s a level of trust there, we can meet his needs and when he’s got an issue we’re going to take care of it. This Taylor Prep job really laid the groundwork for that and I think as long as we continue to deliver quality services to him, I’m sure he’s going to continue to call us.”
This project has earned Foster Specialty Floors a shot at this year’s SSOTY Award. Winners will be announced next month.