SRWC replaced faulty floor during break

Eric Smith

Users of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center might notice a small change when they return to Washburn this semester.

The floors on both the upper and lower levels of the SRWC received some treatment during winter break. The basketball court received an annual resurfacing while the upper level fitness center was a much bigger project.

“We replaced the entire floor in the fitness loft,” said Joel Bluml, SRWC director. “When the facility was built, [the flooring company] used a customized color for Washburn not used anywhere else in the country. This color did not react well with natural light coming in through the windows and caused the floor around the windows to start to break down.”

Samples of the floor were sent to the company, which eventually discovered the problem of the customized color. The company stood behind the warranty and corrected the problem during break.

“They just laid a 4-mm product, similar to the first one, over the existing floor,” said Bluml. “So now we have a 14-mm surface up there instead of 10. They just used a slightly different color and product that shouldn’t break down anymore.

“We wanted to protect Washburn’s investment and make sure the place looks nice for years to come. Hopefully this will last for a long time – at least 20 to 30 years.”

The basketball court, normally refinished every winter break during the week the SRWC is closed, was not treated until after the fitness loft floor was complete.

“While the fitness floor was being redone, all of the equipment was placed around the track so it could be available to use,” said Bluml. “To access the equipment on the track, users had to walk through the gym and go up the back entrance.”

Resurfacing the basketball court is done to protect the surface each year and is a fairly standard practice.

“We’re just keeping general maintenance on it to make sure it stays protected,” said Bluml. “Gym floors cost a lot of money. The last thing we want to do is not take care of it. That’s our main focus. We want the rec center to look as good as or better than the day we opened.”

The care given to the floors is just one of the many reasons students and faculty can appreciate the SRWC.

“In addition to the rec center being a place for people to come for their recreational need and to get healthy, it is a place to come for social activity and to meet people,” said Bluml.