A softer touch: Painted concrete replaced by gymnasium floor with foam backing

09/10/2013 4:15 PM

09/10/2013 4:17 PM

Children at Belvidere Elementary School have a new gymnasium floor installed where the painted concrete one used to be.

The new flooring looks like traditional hardwood found in gyms, but it is called a “sports floor,” and although available for use in recent years, it’s the first of its kind for the Grandview district.

“We really needed a new gym floor,” said Liz Means, Belvidere’s principal. “The old floor was really showing its age.”

A district facilities committee with district-wide representatives chose Belvidere as the trial school, and the floor was installed over the summer.

Belvidere uses the gym for physical education, all its assemblies and the LINC program before and after school. Other groups in the community, such as a karate program and Friday night young men’s basketball games, also use the gym.

Architect Daren Carney, who provides services to the district, described the flooring as a composite of layered materials that includes a protective polyurethane coating, vinyl, closed-cell foam backing and glass-fiber inner layers.

The material is welded together with heat at the seams once it is laid, said Carney of BCS Design Inc. in Olathe.

“Playing on hard concrete is hard on joints or knees,” he said. “When kids fall down on a sports floor, it has foam backing.”

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