Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of St. Bernard Parish’s 33-acre Val Riess Recreation Complex in Chalmette, Louisiana. Originally a soccer and softball complex, a multi-purpose building was added during the recovery from the hurricane that struck in 2005.

For several years, outdoor activities remained the focus of the complex.

“The owner did not have money in the budget for gym equipment and only used the building for a meeting/conference center,” said Tania Hahn, CEO, Hahn Enterprises, Inc. Last year that changed. “Now basketball goals and volleyball equipment have been installed, so local youth and adult recreation leagues, schools, and all others can use this facility as it was originally intended–an athletic complex!”

Although the building was already in place, the project immediately presented some difficult challenges.

“This job was very challenging because we had to deal with HVAC ducts, light bars, deep trusses, truss splice plates, and a steep slope leading to some high attachment points,” said Neal Turner, CSI, CCPR, LEED®AP, Draper’s gym equipment manager. “Our design team had to get very creative and use several different clamps and fittings, and design cradles as tall as 18 feet to work around a lot of obstructions.”

“The cradles for the backstops were immense,” Hahn said. “With the multiple attachment points, it was a very difficult project to draw, manufacture, and install. It required weeks of drawing and redrawing; spot on installation drawings; and a 45’ lift to get us high enough to install everything.”

Despite the high attachment points, the basketball backstops do not have any vibration issues.

“The fact that Draper uses all 4” OD tubing in our overhead structure allowed us to make very stable backstops even under these challenging conditions,” Turner said. “Plus, their choice of white powder coat finish allows the tall cradles and overhead structure to virtually disappear against the white roof structure.”

In all, Hahn installed 16 basketball units, two gym divider curtains, and four volleyball systems. So many motorized products in a multipurpose facility created an additional issue.

“The owner has so many different groups using the goals at one time that they need a lot of flexibility,” Hahn said. “Some backstops need to be up out of the way for volleyball, others need to be down for basketball, and the configurations need to change according to their schedule.”

“We utilized a Smart Gym control system that included individual control as well as the ability to simultaneously run both backstops on any court,” Turner said. “Simultaneous operation of equipment can greatly reduce a facility’s set up time, so you don’t get groups of people hanging around waiting to get onto a court.”

Hahn and Draper overcame the challenges so well that they received the greatest compliment of all: the building owners never noticed the challenges and are extremely happy with their newly functional facility.

“Hahn Enterprises is among our best dealers and we have enjoyed working with them since Tania started the business 17 or 18 years ago,” Turner said.” “Hahn is on top of every job in their territory and has strong relationships with architects, contractors, and facility owners that lead to a high success rate and smooth projects.”

To explore Draper’s range of gym solutions, click here to go to our website.

To learn more about Hahn Enterprises, click here.

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