Getting a package deal
How a creative bleacher design solution solved a host of facility needs all at once
Evanston is a close-knit, mid-sized Wyoming city. Games or tournaments at Evanston High School are big events and well attended. Their gymnasium gets heavy use – during the school day and after school hours – by students, residents, and local recreation programs. It also hosts many non-sport events.
After nearly 30 years of use and some heavy modifications, the gym’s bleachers had multiple safety and operational issues. So the school district started looking at what other ongoing issues they might be able to fix with careful design of the new bleachers.
Obstacles & Opportunities
The school district laid out their wish list of gym improvements and Norcon Industries, Hussey Seating’s exclusive local dealer, developed a variety of solution options and collaborated closely with the district to identify the best solution to meet all their needs.
Top priority was player and fan safety at basketball games. Evanston was concerned about the increase in aggressive spectator behavior and wanted to limit access to the court. Increasing capacity and ADA accommodation were the other issues the district wanted to tackle.
Hussey and Norcon used out-of-the-box thinking by applying our pro-arena expertise to a high school gym. To create a workable top-down traffic path, Hussey engineers designed freestanding bleachers that integrated with the cantilevered mezzanine, and added custom bridging stair units at the top of the bleacher aisles. Removable arena-style security rail truncations were added to the second tier to limit access to the court, yet keep the bottom row available for team seating.
Adding Flex-Row™ to the bottom row on either side of the bowl provides a generous amount of recoverable ADA accommodation. It is fully operable with the bleachers opened or closed, an added bonus that supports daily PE use.
The old system was removed, the new access points were cut into the end zone mezzanine, the new bleachers and platform were installed, and the final finishing touches completed within just one month – all while school was in session! “They really worked well for us . . . they worked to our timetable in an excellent fashion.” says Pat Rooney, Facility Manager, UCSD1.
The local community, visiting teams and tournament participants are happy to have room for over 350 more fans. Flex-Row is providing much more ADA accessibility. Locals love the image upgrade, and even opposing teams now rank this as the nicest gym in the state. The gym is also attracting larger events like state conventions that help bring in local revenue.
Doug Rigby, Evanston High’s Principal, sums it up best - “We are one very satisfied customer.”