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Colby College Case Study


By working collaboratively, Hussy Seating is able to understand and solve our customer’s biggest problems.

When Hussey Seating Company joined the design project for the Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center at Colby College, it was to do more than supply fixed and telescopic seating, it was to help overcome design challenges.

At the heart of this ambitious project was an existing gymnasium which the new facility was built around to help save costs. Within the existing gymnasium was a balcony which architects were trying to keep intact by incorporating bleachers that would rise to meet its height and with angled beams supporting the balcony prevented the bleachers from being fully recessed underneath it presented a challenge. Unlike most bleachers, spectators at Colby College enter the bleachers in this gymnasium from the balcony, so the customer wanted VIP seating located in the upper tiers. Incorporating some of existing structure meant that the footprint of the court was also fixed, dictating the maximum space the bleachers could extend to.

To overcome these challenges, the engineers at Hussey Seating Company worked collaboratively with the architects and customer to design a telescopic seating system that would maximize seating space when in the open position and floor space when closed. The two banks of bleachers were fitted with telescopic folding chairs in the upper tiers and bench seats in the lower tiers. A novel design combining two-step and three-step tiers achieves consistent rise and run through the shorter lower tiers as well as the taller upper tiers while staying within three-sixteenths rise.

A small overhang was added off the balcony which provides ADA seating and a recess pocket underneath for the telescopic bleachers to retract into. A transparent half-wall prevents access to the bleachers while closed and directs traffic through doors located at the aisles when open. An exceptionally small footprint is achieved by a telescopic platform which closes with zero slope, so the noses of each tier are almost perfectly in line.

The result of this design is a blend of comfortable VIP and bench seating with clear sightlines fit for a multi-award-winning athletics and recreation facility.


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