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Fitness Flooring Installs the Largest Hardwood Portable Floor in the Northern U.S.

Fitness Flooring

Fitness Flooring, Inc. of Indianapolis, Indiana, in conjunction with Patriot Design of Lockport, Illinois, proudly announce that they have recently completed installation of a 40,000-square-foot portable sports floor at Southland Center in Lynwood, Illinois, just south of Chicago. 

The floor is 7/8” solid beech hardwood over a plywood substrate that allows the floor, even one of this size, to be taken apart or reassembled within just a few days. The flooring has been striped for six full-sized basketball courts and 10 full-sized volleyball courts, with an additional 10,000 square feet of space for fan seating.

Southland Center needed to have the floor staged and striped before basketball leagues begin in April, but had several major soccer tournaments scheduled on the turf that the flooring was laid over. The only solution was to have a portable floor that could be installed, game-lined, and disassembled quickly enough that the existing soccer operations were not substantially affected. 

Andy Rodriguez, the building administrator for SouthlandCenter, oversaw the project and was excited by the results. “It’s not often that you get to see something of this magnitude,” he said. “During installation, we were bringing people in to see it being done and it was astounding to them that a floor of that size could be put together so quickly.”

Steve Chase, president of Fitness Flooring, has been in the sports flooring business for over 30 years. “When you look at a floor like this, you almost become numb to its size because of the gigantic space that it is in,” he said. “During installation, we’d see that we’d only put in half the floor after two days, but then you realize that was almost 20,000 square feet, and you’re sort of staggered by the sheer amount of flooring that had been installed that quickly. That’s nearly three NBA-sized courts going down in a really short period of time with only four installers.”

Keith Coote, president of Patriot Design, was the catalyst that pulled everything together to make this work.

As Rodriquez pointed out, “I’d worked with Keith in the past and told the management here that if anyone was going to pull this off, it was going to be Keith.”   

Chase agreed. “When Keith first approached me about this floor, I thought he was exaggerating about the size, until I stopped in at Southland Center myself and saw exactly what the possibilities were.”

But Coote knew exactly how to pull it all together. “I thought that for a floor this size, we were going to need smaller, lighter weight panels than most of the maple guys could supply, since this floor was going to have to come up and go down quickly and easily, using only the facility’s staff,” he said. “We also had only about 850 square feet to store the panels in when the floor was taken up, so the ability to stack the panels was also a serious consideration. I had worked with the Fitness Flooring panels in a previous job and realized that their panels were going to be durable enough to hold up for league play for years, while being smaller and easier to install to be manageable for facility guys who weren’t flooring installers.”

About Fitness Flooring

Fitness Flooring has been supplying the fitness market with quality sports floors for over 30 years. Its quality hardwoods for group exercise and basketball, as well as specialty rubber floors, have been installed in thousands of facilities across the continent. For more information about Fitness Flooring’s products, call 800.428.5306 or visit www.fitnessfloors.com.

About Southland Center

Southland Center is owned by the Ho-Chunk Nation and managed by the Indoor Sports Manager Group. It provides space for sports leagues, camps and tournaments for 10 sports, from baseball and volleyball to indoor soccer and basketball. The 100,000+ square foot facility has been named a Top Ten Multi-use facility by the Sports Planning Guide and one of the Top Seven Basketball Venues in the country by Connect Sports. For more information about the facility, call 708.418.5554 or visit www.mysouthlandcenter.com.


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