White Shield High School puts safety 1st and gets top of the line basketball court

When you have THE very best gymnasium floor in the entire state of North Dakota, you have something to brag about. When you’ve designed, manufactured and installed THE very best floor in that state, you also have something to brag about.

And those bragging rights belong to White Shield High School, and none other than Robbins Flooring and authorized Robbins dealer Anderson Ladd. Anderson Ladd installed the premier hardwood flooring system on the market – the Robbins MVP® – for the White Shield Warriors in September 2018, making it the first installation of the MVP in the state. The MVP (Maximum Vibration Protection) is unrivaled as the leading flooring system in the sports flooring industry, thus earning the White Shield project the distinction of being a Robbins Sports Surface of the Year Award Finalist.

“I could go on and on and on about the MVP system, but to sum it all up it is the best of the best,” said Dealer Salesperson and Facilities Solutions Specialist at Anderson Ladd Brandon Larson.

And the best is exactly what White Shield wanted when the MHA Nation (Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes) was constructing a new school on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, according to Larson.

“We sat down with the architect and also the owner (White Shield) and basically went over all the gym floor systems that Robbins has to offer,” Larson explained. “The owners really liked the fact that the Timberwolves’ practice facility was installed by Anderson Ladd and had the MVP flooring.”

Larson presented multiple floor samples and school officials were so impressed with the benefits of the MVP, including its shock absorption, biomechanical features to improve performance, comfort and safety, and overall aesthetics, they chose to install the nearly 12,000-square-foot MVP, which is college regulation size. The White Shield gym floor joins the ranks of not only the Minnesota Timberwolves, but that of the Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans, Texas A&M, SMU and other elite teams.

“The MVP is a completely different concept in our industry,” Robbins Regional Manager Kevin Price said. “It’s really the floor of choice for many NBA teams and it’s starting to take off at the NCAA level. To have a high school go with the MVP is quite an accomplishment.”

Price said as the MVP gains recognition, more people will understand the benefits the MVP offers to not only professional athletes, but beginners, as well.

“A basketball floor can provide safety for the athletes who are playing on the floor,” Price explained. “I hope that everybody from the elementary level to the NBA starts to see that protection of the athletes is vital and the floor can go a long way in helping with that protection.”

Just like at White Shield.

“The tribe just said, ‘We need to get the best for the kids,’” said White Shield Superintendent Wayne Fox. “It was all about the kids.”

Fox said the floor was funded entirely by the tribe. Since no public funds were used, they had more freedom to choose the best fit for their school. Unlike White Shield, traditional public schools typically must rely on the lowest bidder for school projects, not necessarily the best product. In White Shield’s case, Robbins dealer Anderson Ladd was chosen to work with general contractor Graham Construction.

“Graham always brought in the best and I know when he (Brandon Larson) did his presentation, he was spot-on,” Fox continued. “We were looking for, of course, longevity but also quality. I think with the bounce back and basically how the floor looks, it’s just magnificent.”

Cody Hiller, project coordinator for Graham, said the floor installation was part of a larger $15 million project. It took about three weeks to install and went perfectly. For Hiller, it was the first MVP he’s seen, and he said it is indeed astonishing.

“It’s a pretty premium product,” Hiller said. “It’s pretty cool to see it go down.”

And the finished product was something to behold, according to Larson, between the intricate detail work in the center court logo and seven warrior silhouette on the sideline.

“The artwork on this floor is, in my opinion, top notch and some of the best artwork that we’ve ever done in the state of North Dakota, and they take a lot of pride in their design and artwork,” Larson said. “There’s extreme detail in that center court logo, which took a lot of time but it turned out tremendous.”

But most importantly, the students couldn’t be happier with their new floor. Fox said the floor is a source of pride for the students and they are excited to showcase their new MVP.