Florida’s warm rays have recently attracted a host of newcomers. The Sunshine State has been second only to Texas in population growth over the last several years. Where some American cities have unfortunately been shuttering a portion of their schools, Florida’s influx of families has created demand for new school construction—including charter schools.
“With a rise in work-from-home employment, warm-weather states like Florida have seen significant population growth that can lead to demand for new schools to support education, including charter schools,” said Michael DiNatale, Action Floors’ east coast sales manager for synthetic flooring systems.
Throughout Florida, this increased demand resulted in the opportunity for Action Floors to provide flooring systems for six new charter schools’ gymnasiums:
- Baymeadows Christian School, Jacksonville, FL
- Beaches Episcopal School, Jacksonville Beach, FL
- IDEA Bassett School, Jacksonville, FL
- IDEA River Bluff, Jacksonville, FL
- KIPP Impact Academy, Jacksonville, FL
- Orangewood Christian School, Maitland, FL
Each of the new schools’ construction plans included a stand-alone gymnasium, with five of them opening in fall 2022 and the sixth to open in 2023.
Choosing the Right Gymnasium Flooring Materials
Whenever a new gym flooring system is needed, among the initial considerations is which type of floor to install: wood or synthetic?
“If the building is primarily used as a basketball facility and if money were not an issue, then the best option would be wood flooring,” said DiNatale. “Wood is the traditional surface for basketball; when you dribble a ball on a wood floor, there’s nothing like it.”
School gymnasiums, however, typically host a wide variety of activities on their floors, far beyond basketball. This contributed to the charter school projects’ architects’ recommendation for synthetic flooring.
How Does Environment Affect Flooring?
Florida’s notorious humidity further impacted the charter schools’ decision to choose a synthetic flooring system for the new gyms. All six schools opted for Action Sports’ Action V-Sport vinyl sheet flooring—a true multi-purpose flooring system that won’t be affected by the Florida climate.
“It holds up really well in high-humidity places like Florida,” said DiNatale. “With V-Sport, it’s dimensionally stable and is not affected by severe changes in humidity or temperature.”
The V-Sport is also cushion-backed to provide shock absorption for the impact of active sports.
Buzzer Beater: Installing Five Gym Floors at Once
Another benefit of the V-Sport is that it’s prefabricated. Installation is relatively quick, as V-Sport is essentially rolled out and glued down.
“I’ve been doing this for almost 35 years. The biggest change for me has been the speed of construction,” said DiNatale. “It’s unbelievable.”
A typical installation takes two weeks, including 72 hours to cure (including painted game lines). While that may not seem like much, DiNatale said it’s always a challenge to coordinate this window without interference from any other construction work—and all the more difficult when five projects must be completed at once. (Note: one of the six charter schools is set to open in 2023.)
“The fact that you had five schools that needed to be completed in various locations throughout the state, but they all needed to be finished for the school year,” said DiNatale. “The toughest part was coordinating enough installers and the timing: getting the materials there, making sure concrete and everything were ready, and working within the very tight schedule.”
As always, Action Floors ensured the timely availability of the materials and provided all necessary technical support for these projects. This involved consistent collaboration with the projects’ flooring contractor, the athletic facility experts of H2I Group. H2I masterfully coordinated the flooring installation, including submittals, material orders and delivery, site inspections, and game line painting.
Thanks to this close work and communication, all five of the concurrent V-Sport flooring system installations went off without a hitch, with the sixth all set for success.
Looking for your next flooring system or sports surface project? Speak with an expert at Action Floor Systems to learn more about creative solutions that will help make your plans a reality. Contact us today to get started.