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Project Profile: Making a Bright Statement with a New Maple Sports Floor

hart county high school gym floor

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Classified as a school building in dire need of replacement by the Kentucky Department of Education, the nearly 60-year-old Hart County High School was in desperate need of a new building.

One key player was dedicated to the district long enough to see the high school building slowly degrade: Ricky Line served as the district’s superintendent for 32 years and the high school’s basketball coach for many years prior to that. His last wish as superintendent was to retire leaving the school in a better place than its current state.

Little did Line know, the school had secret plans to honor his legacy; and today, now that construction has come to an end, the once broken-down school has transformed into a high-functioning facility with a memorable gymnasium serving as the centerpiece of it all.

Aligning the Stars

Conrad Floors, Action Floors’ dealer partner located in Kentucky, was chosen as the flooring contractor of record and was responsible for installing flooring in many of the main spaces including the gymnasium, locker rooms, track, and kitchen. Owners Mary Beth and Larry Conrad worked closely alongside Architect Jennifer Cash of Sherman Carter Barnhart to bring the dreams of a functional, new high school facility to life.

“Over time, between the heat and the air and the leaks, it’s time for a new school,” Line said in a Bowling Green Daily News article. “The district has been meaning to renovate the high school for years.”

However, in order to rebuild and renovate the school, Hart County needed funds to do so. The school was put on a waiting list to receive Urgent Needs Funds from the Kentucky Department of Education, monies specifically allocated to assist school districts with large-scale projects like this one.

After six years of waiting, the funds arrived while school was in session. Without another location to hold classes and carry out activities, however, the school was forced to remain in the same building during construction.

To do so, Cash recommended tearing down the existing building excluding one wing and the gymnasium. Classes would continue in the remaining wing during Phase 1 and the new high school would be rebuilt onto a partial shell of the old gymnasium.

“We are moving 100 percent of our students into 40 percent of the school,” Line said in a Bowling Green Daily News article. Overall, it was a complicated situation that would require strategic thinking, thoughtful planning, and the right materials.

Any time students and teachers are inside a school during renovations or construction work, the topic of indoor air quality is discussed. Certain products, finishes, and construction materials emit unsafe levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs); certain levels of VOCs cause short-term or long-term sicknesses and affect student learning and cognitive thinking.

For this project, Cash was able to specify low-emitting VOC synthetic floors from Action Floors in certain spaces that allowed students and staff to remain inside without harmful air pollutants.

The new synthetic floors were hygienic, non-porous, and perfect for the kitchen, locker room, and track. They were simple compared to the complex beauty that hid behind the closed gymnasium doors.

Stepping Up the Game

A gorgeous, functional gymnasium was always the plan for Hart County High School.

Cash originally specified Second Grade and Better maple for the gym floor—a standard choice for high school sports floors in the area. However, when all the estimates came back for the school building, Hart County realized they had extra resources and decided to take the gymnasium to a whole new level.

Hart County High School decision makers wanted a bolder, more striking look, and after seeing sports floors at the collegiate level, they wanted the lightest possible maple flooring for the gym.

After discussing solutions with Action Floors, Conrad Floors was able to recommend an option utilizing First Grade Maple.

Alongside the vibrant orange and green key lines and borders, the end result of the light flooring contrasted beautifully.

gymnasium floor with hardwood Hart County

“It turned out extremely good looking,” Conrad added. “When we put the green and orange colors on the floor up to the light wood, it really popped.”

Additional resources also gave the school an opportunity to make the gymnasium even more functional.

The second story of the gymnasium was intended to be a space solely for bleachers, however, the extra funds allowed the school to build a walking track.

School officials decided to add an Action Herculan MF synthetic sports surface along the perimeter of the stationary bleachers to make the space even more useful for physical education classes and extra-curricular activities. The slip-resistant walking track created a more durable and functional space than the previously selected concrete flooring.

The Final Touches

During the transition of the old school to the new one, former superintendent and basketball coach Ricky Line retired from the system after decades of service.

“The district wanted to honor him because he had been the high school basketball coach for years prior to being superintendent,” Cash said. “The basketball court was their way of paying tribute to him.”

A surprise dedication ceremony revealed a special gift and way to pay tribute to Line’s commitment: permanently painted at the heart of the bright court was the retired coach and superintendent’s signature.

sports court dedication at Hart county high school

“He was not aware of it until the dedication ceremony,” Cash added.

The dedication ceremony was not only an emotional way to say thank you to Line, but a way to showcase the years of planning and time spent making the new Hart County High School perfect.

“Every room [had] been discussed with numerous groups. Every floor design was put through probably 20 hours of scrutiny before we decided, ‘Yes! That’s what we want,” said Line in a WBKO article.

The Hart County High School project demonstrates Action Floors and its dealer partners commitment to top-notch customer service.

At Action Floors, we always take the time to listen and provide solutions that meet a facility’s end goals. If you would like to discuss specialized flooring solutions for schools, contact us online or call 800-746-3512.

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