Durable floors help churches get in the game

A Tennessee church installs versatile sports flooring to provide greater fellowship opportunities.

By Robin Traum

Blondy Church of God in Hohenwald, TN, opened its newly built Family Life Center in the spring of 2008 for social and sports activities. The center serves as a gathering place and draws a steady stream of people.

The idea for the center originated with the church’s recently retired pastor Bill Webb and church elders. “The center was built to help us better minister to people and to allow them to meet in larger groups for fellowship opportunities,” says Webb.

Church elders decided to install almost 12,000-square-feet of resilient vinyl flooring in maple design in the center’s main room after looking at numerous other buildings. “Our architect presented to us what flooring he thought was best suited for our needs,” says Webb. “It’s turned out really well for us. The floor that was put in is easy to maintain and it’s durable.”

A jogging track on the upper level

The seven-millimeter thick flooring contrasts with the dark blue basketball keys and border, black basketball and white volleyball game lines. A stage anchors one end of the room and there is ample space alongside the basketball/volleyball courts for storing folding chairs. Other areas include a commercial kitchen, showers and changing facilities. A mezzanine level wraps around and overlooks the courts. The upper level includes a walking/jogging track and fitness equipment area with more than 3,800-square-feet of five-millimeter thick vinyl flooring that matches the dark blue flooring on the main level.

The thicker vinyl flooring on the basketball court provides shock absorption and accurate ball bounce. The track surface serves its multipurpose applications while providing additional indentation resistance for heavy items.

A logo in the center of the full-size basketball court draws everyone’s attention when entering the room. The bright blue and white logo illustrates the purpose of the center with its depiction of a family of four with one of the two children holding a ball.

As church secretary, Virginia Brewer handles the scheduling of the Family Life Center. In the months since it opened, she has booked it for events including birthday parties, bridal showers, wedding receptions and graduation celebrations.

Hours of use each week

Regular weekly usage includes basketball team practices and games with team members coming from the church and the community. Frequently adults organize an impromptu basketball game. “Every week they usually play basketball for three or four hours on Sunday evening and Tuesday night,” says Jeremy Hobbs, youth pastor.

The youth group frequently meets to hold sleepovers and retreats, as well as, play basketball. Other activities at the Family Life Center include dodgeball, whiffle ball tournaments and baseball practice for younger players using plastic bats and balls.

“It has the capability for playing volleyball but we haven’t had games yet,” says Hobbs. “Now it’s more basketball and walking than anything else.”

So far, the scheduling is low key but Hobbs anticipates that will change. “With such a nice facility I expect to see more activities planned for it for the future,” he says, adding the flooring gets a positive reaction. “People using the center say it is really comfortable on their knees.”

With the installation of resilient vinyl multilayered flooring, Blondy Church ensured the versatility of the center as its usage increases.

By Robin Traum is public relations consultant for Gerflor Sports Flooring LLC, Arlington Heights, IL. [www.gerflor.com]

Reaching new heights with sports equipment

First Southern Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, OK, is a congregation with approximately 8,000 members. The church worked on a new Family Life Center for a number of years, building their facility as funds became available. The finished product, opened in the fall of 2008, includes a dining hall, exercise room and gymnasium. The gymnasium is home to First Southern’s Upward Youth Sports ministry.

When it came time to furnish the gymnasium, Dave Newton, executive pastor, worked with Future Pro, a nationwide dealer of Bison sports equipment and NACDB member.

“When I needed to furnish our new Family Life Center, I checked around for someone who could help me with options and numerous proposals on everything from volleyball systems to gymnasium wall padding under basketball goals; I found Future Pro.”

The Family Life Center gym is equipped for basketball and volleyball. The portable basketball systems include adjustable height goals. The height can be lowered for skill building of younger players and raised to the official 10-foot game height for teens and adults. The volleyball equipment is a multi-game system with side-by-side double courts. An easy to adjust net height allows use for volleyball, tennis, badminton and other net games. Newton also equipped the gym with heavy-duty ball carts, wall safety padding and equipment transport carts.

— Mary Jo Schuetts [www.futureproinc.com]


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