There are many variables in athletic facility construction. Pre-planning is an important part of any gym construction project, especially on large, complex jobs.

The importance of pre-planning was particularly evident on a recently-completed project at Phoenix, Arizona-based Grand Canyon University. Draper helped gym equipment dealer Norcon Industries, the university, and general contractor Pono Construction navigate several possible stumbling blocks in the design of the new facility.

“We did a lot of work on the front end to ensure the building was designed for the loads we were placing on the structure,” said Neal Turner, CSI, CCPR, LEED®AP, Draper’s gym equipment manager. “The structure was fairly tall, so we had to move playing courts around to prevent various pieces of folding equipment from interfering with each other.”

Another area made easier by Draper’s pre-planning assistance was control design. Gym controls are typically located together in one area of the building. This is good for access to everything at once, but operators are often unable to see everything that is moving, which adds an element of risk.

Draper recommended putting the controls where they would be needed at all times, while grouping products for quick setup of different playing configurations. The perfect tool for this setup was a Smart Gym with Wi-Fi kit and tablet interface.

Smart Gym is the most flexible and most powerful gymnasium control system available. Smart Gym allows you to control your Basketball Backstops, Electric Height Adjusters, Gymnasium Divider Curtains, Overhead Volleyball Systems, Mat Lifters, and other electrical products without keys or individual switches. Smart Gym is capable of controlling thousands of devices from the same processor and is programmed to fit specific project needs.

“This is a closed network allowing the user to walk around the facility with an iPad to operate equipment,” said Turner. “The system is programmed with “one-button” setup that allows the user to switch from basketball to volleyball with one finger tap. This raises both backstops and simultaneously lowers the volleyball systems. There is also a basketball setup button that lowers backstops and raises volleyball nets at the same time.”

Speaking of volleyball nets, the Grand Canyon University project also gave Draper the opportunity to design an updated version of the Overhead Volleyball System (OVS). Previously the OVS used a telescopic post. The net had to be loosened before the height could be adjusted. The new design incorporates a sliding post section that allows the net attachment points to move together, so the user can change heights with the net at almost full tension.

Designing and building Grand Canyon University’s new gymnasium was a large, complex job, but it went very smoothly because of the pre-planning Draper offers to all of our gym equipment dealers.

For more information on our Smart Gym control, click here.

To ask us about pre-planning assistance on your next athletic facility project, click here to contact the Draper gym equipment representative for your area.