Wilfrid Laurier University – Waterloo, ON

Wilfrid Laurier University contracted Forum Athletic Products to carry out a complete gymnasium equipment and telescopic seating renovation project. The original wooden plank seating system was nearing the end of it’s life, having seated up to 1800 people at a time for over 45 years. The two large gym divider curtains were heavily worn and outdated and the six ceiling mounted basketball backstops were showing their age. The two banks of seating were removed and replaced with the Irwin model 4500 telescopic seating system. Two F3500 Centre Drive Divider Curtains were installed with large custom logo branding. Six F850 ceiling mounted backstops replaced the outdated double frame units with modern single mast backstops.

The new seating banks are 89ft wide and 19 rows high. The blow mold seat with foldable backrest was selected, along with a special 120 seat VIP area. The premium VIP area uses the Integra chair. The gymnasium has a total seating capacity of 1608 plus 12 accessible seating areas. A custom glass and aluminum railing at the cross aisle was installed. This allowed us to brand the golden hawks logo right onto the glass. Large end curtains close off both sides of the bleacher, and also feature Laurier branding.

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Part of the reason WLU selected Forum Athletic to undertake this project was our ability to offer a creative solution to a unique problem. The original seating was accessed from the court level and from the 2nd floor through a set of double doors located on a mezzanine that protruded into the gymnasium. The telescopic seating could not be placed close enough to these 2nd floor doors because it would block off the gym level doorways below. There was a 6 foot gap that needed to be bridged. This was originally done by wheeling in large, heavy and cumbersome scaffold like bridge structures. These were very difficult to move around and impossible to store out of sight when not used.

Original seating with bridge structure:
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Original seating cross aisle:
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Our solution to this unique problem was a custom built drawbridge that could be raised and lowered electronically. The bride raises out of the way when the bleachers are closed, allowing the courts below to be used without any obstruction. Once the bleachers are pulled out, the bridge is lowered onto the cross aisle. Foldable railings are permanently attached to the top of the bridge, and are easily set up by the user. This solution greatly reduced the amount of time and effort required to deploy the bleachers, and eliminated the need store the large bridge structures in the gymnasium.

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This project required a very aggressive delivery and installation schedule, and Forum was able to deliver and complete the project on time, sticking to the original construction schedule proposed during the RFP process, without any delays. With our in house installation crews, great support from Irwin telescopic seating, and athletic equipment manufactured right here at our facility, we had total control over scheduling and completing this project successfully.

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