Learning institutions are often faced with the challenge of deciding whether to renovate old facilities/structures or to build new ones. Discussions on such matters are often triggered by changes in programs, aging, or failing building systems such as air conditioning systems or roofs, and sometimes due to health and safety concerns. In the foregoing, the decision to renovate or to build afresh impacts the overall project in terms of the schedule, budget, as well as quality (Pope et al., 2016). Moreover, considerations have to be made on technology, environmental, and sustainability issues as well as existing facilities with value. This proposal presents a project aimed at renovating rather than rebuilding a gymnasium at the Eastern Greene High School (EGHS). The decision was informed by the advantages of lesser cost and minimal environmental impact by following the renovation approach rather than rebuilding. Accordingly, the proposal details a two-phase renovation project at EGHS involving retrofitting gym lights to light-emitting diodes (LED) system in the first phase and flooring the high school gym floor in the second phase. These works will make the gymnasium more attractive and serve many future generations.
Phase 1: LED Lighting System Works
The EGHS gymnasium was constructed in 2008 and furnished with 44 lighting fixtures. However, the lighting system that was initially installed was cheap as it was being phased out in the market. Accordingly, the contractors had a limited budget and thus sought to cut down on costs by selecting the cheap lighting system. However, it turned out that the canister lights were frequently burning out or malfunctioning and spare parts were rare and very expensive if found. As the gymnasium continues to age, the cost of replacing the light bulbs has increased further since the frequency of their replacement and maintenance has also intensified. Moreover, the old lighting system has been observed to have low energy efficiency. As noted by the head maintenance officer, Gary Wiggington, the current lighting system within the gymnasium consumes the bulk of the corporation’s energy. In the foregoing, there is a growing need to install better lighting systems such as LEDs that are of better quality and exhibit better performance among other advantages.
Advantages of LED Lights
LEDs are increasingly being used in lighting gymnasiums over other options such as metal halide, high-pressure, and fluorescent lights. Accordingly, LEDs are preferred because of their advantages such as superior energy efficiency, high durability reduced operational and maintenance costs, higher quality light, increased safety, and environmental friendliness, and aesthetic value.
Superior energy efficiency. LEDs have been tested and found to be 80% more energy-efficient as compared to traditional lighting systems, such as incandescent and fluorescent lights (Cooper, 2017). Much of LED’s energy is converted to light, and only an insignificant amount of it produces heat. Other traditional lighting systems convert up to 95% of energy into heat, with only 5% used as light (Cooper, 2017). Additionally, LED lights have been found to draw less power as compared to traditional lighting systems. For instance, an 84-watt traditional lighting system can be replaced by a 36-watt LED lighting system.
High durability. LEDs are durable as they have a longer life span of up to 50,000 hours as compared to traditional artificial lights (T-1 Lighting, 2019). For instance, metal halides are often noted to flicker after being used over time thus the need to replace them frequently. It follows that the durability of the LEDs takes away the need to replace them constantly thus saving on costs that could have otherwise been incurred.
Reduced operational and maintenance costs. LED lights have the potential to significantly reduce operational and maintenance costs of lighting utility bills. Accordingly, their unique qualities like the aforementioned superior energy efficiency and durability mean that they save on costs. Such costs are those that could have been incurred in paying for heavy energy usage or frequent replacement of critical parts as is the case in conventional lighting systems.
Higher quality light. LED lights have characteristically bright light with minimal glare thus enabling users such as sportspersons to enhance their focus and to improve their performance. Moreover, aspects such as light dimming, color tuning, and sensor controls are tastefully designed to create an ideal environment for various activities like sports, proms, and graduation parties.
Increased safety. The high-quality illumination from LEDs offers increased safety in comparison to other traditional lighting options used in gymnasiums. Accordingly, LEDs will guard against excessive glare; while creating the ideal environment for various activities that take place in the gymnasium. Consequently, potential injuries and accidents are minimized as users of a facility with LED lights will see more clearly and have better focus.
Environmental friendliness. The LED lighting system has been applauded as one of the most efficient lighting fixtures which conserve the environment. Through laws and policies, environmental bodies such as the United Environmental Programme (UNEP) have placed guidelines for ensuring environmental conservation and sustainability practices by reducing electricity demand for lighting across the world. It follows that a widespread shift from conventional lighting technologies such as incandescent and halogen lamps to LEDs is credited for reducing negative environmental outcomes. Therefore, it is important to create awareness of upcoming technologies that can be used to reduce carbon emissions.
Aesthetic value. LED lights have an aesthetic value that contributes to the success of an establishment. Bright space for keeping memories of events is evident with the LED lighting system as it desists a dark alleyway across all corners in a room.
The major material needs for fitting the LED lighting system at the EGHS gymnasium include a retrofit kit, LED lights, switches, and electric cables. It follows that the current proposal recommends retrofitting rather than replacing the old fixtures. Consequently, the retrofit kit will make it easy to remove the current inefficient lighting components and to set up the new improved LED fixtures. The retrofit kit does not require ballast thus funds will be saved for use in the second phase involving sanding and refinishing the gym floor.
Kent Doades, the Athletic Director at North Knox High School (local school 2A), and his counterpart, Otto Clement from Sullivan High school were interviewed on lighting improvement projects recently undertaken at their respective institutions. Accordingly, they were asked to explain their choice of LED lighting systems over traditional options like fluorescent, incandescent, and halogen lamps. In response to the interview questions, Kent Doades explained that the choice of LEDs was informed by the need to update and brighten their gymnasium while benefitting from cost savings through reduced energy usage. Moreover, it had been in the plans of North Knox High School to improve their facilities thus making them more cost-effective and to realize a pleasing environment for their students, fans, and community. The move also made the gymnasium at North Knox High School a suitable venue for hosting tournament opportunities along with the associated economic benefits to the local community.
On the other hand, Otto Clement responded to the interview questions by explaining that Sullivan High School opted for the LEDs in the renovation of their gymnasium since the existing lighting system was no longer adequate. Moreover, updates were only made as part of a guaranteed program within other school improvement programs. Having established that the time was right, the school’s management took the step back to observe the growth of the surrounding community. It was then decided that it was fitting to give the community a more pleasing yet cost-effective environment by installing the LED lighting system.
The objectives of the lighting installation at the EGHS gymnasium are to:
- Remove old canister lighting system from EGHS gymnasium (44 lights);
- Install cost-efficient LED lighting system; and
- Create a more pleasing yet energy-efficient environment for all patrons and students.
Custodial staff, namely Joe, David, Larry, and Jayden, will remove the old lighting components and dispose of them. Accordingly, they will operate as per contract during breaks such as spring and summer. The custodial staff was selected after excelling in an oral interviews about their knowledge and experience in the demands of the assigned tasks. Accordingly, they had a demonstrated history of assisting in previous electrical and lighting works within the school. Moreover, there was a competitive tendering process to select a crew to install the LED lighting system, and the crew that won the tendering process was led by David. It follows that the crew gave evidence of their past successful jobs in the installation of LED lighting systems and their quotation for the job was the most affordable. Further, REMC was chosen as the organization that would inspect the new lighting installation, as per the rebate requirements.
Phase 2: Sanding and Refinishing Gym Floor
The gymnasium’s hardwood floor has lasted about 13 years since it was constructed. On account of the period, the facility requires to be repaired as most gymnasium floors are sanded down to bare wood and refined every 5-10 years depending on how much they are used (Armstrong, 2017). Moreover, the floor is used heavily as it is the central area for hosting graduation ceremonies, award ceremonies, proms, convocations, as well as traditional sporting events and practices. Much as it looks good from a distance, its quality has significantly reduced and its performance has waned as can be observed at a close range. While the floor has had the “bare minimum” maintenance of refresher treatment every two years, it has suffered water damage caused by a leaking roof, torrential flooding, a burst pipe, and years of traffic. Students and athletes alike face safety issues as almost every part of the floor feels “wavy” when trodden upon. Therefore, refinishing the floor is a matter of great urgency.
Advantages of the Sanding and Refinishing Works
Sanding and refinishing works on the gymnasium at EGHS will be advantageous through the improvement of its structural integrity and safety thus providing a high-performance surface for training and other activities. Therefore, students and athletes alike will enjoy sports, experience fewer or no cases of injury and accidents, while also realizing full talent maximization. Moreover, the renovation works will make the gym floor smoother, cleaner, and free of scratches or cracks thus making it easier to reprint lines, as well as the school logo. Consequently, the gymnasium will have an enhanced aesthetic value for fans and visitors.
Equipment and processes. The required floor renovation equipment and materials include a specialized sanding machine, sandpapers, heavy-duty commercial type vacuum cleaner, and lambswool applicator. The specialized sanding machine is used to refinish the floor, while sand and grit will be cleaned before sealing. Applying two coats of MFMA on the floor is will then be done, while proper court lines, logos, and other images are painted on the sealed surface. After the paint is dry, the other two coats will be applied, and the floor will be left to dry.
Estimated time. The process of refinishing the gym floor will begin by sanding and removing the old court lines and layers of finish across the raw wood. This process should take a day, and in the next few days, scratches ought to be removed, followed by repairing the cracks and replacing wood that is deemed deteriorated. After the completion of the repair work, the floor will be resurfaced, and a new finish will be laid down. In general, the entire process is estimated to take a week of work and another week of curing. It is important to note that scheduling of all athletic events must be coordinated around refinishing the floor; once this process begins, the gym floor is off-limits until the renovation process is completed.
In regards to comparing facilities in our area or across the state of Indiana, I had the distinct pleasure of coaching and officiating over the past 26 years, and this time, I have visited numerous incredible venues. These experiences have allowed me to see firsthand the venues that were memorable due to their visual appeal, fan, and player experiences. Eastern Greene can provide this type of venue for our community and its visitors. With such improvements, our facilities will provide better game experiences for officials, coaches, players, and fans. Furthermore, our community will have more opportunities to host sectionals, invitations, and other ECA events that provide visitor traffic.
Accordingly, there will be various measures in place to ensure a smooth and successful sanding/refinishing process. Firstly, the area will be prepared well for the renovation activities. This preparation will entail taping off, locking, or blocking access points to the gymnasium so that there is no unauthorized access before the floor dries properly. There will also be messages on the doors to communicate when the facility will be open or ready for use. Moreover, all the necessary tools and products to be used in the renovation process will be placed in a central location so that they can be easily accessed by the refinishing crew for efficiency. Proper ventilation will also be ensured throughout the process of sanding/refinishing and afterward. However, doors and windows will be closed whenever there will be strong winds to avoid air currents from carrying dust and other dirt onto the floor before it is completed. Another action to prepare the gym is to keep the temperature at 65 °F if possible so that there will be proper drying and curing of the seal, paint, and finish.
The second measure to make the sanding/refinishing successful will be to allow enough cure time. In the foregoing, the refinished gym floor will not be walked on earlier than 48 hours after the application of the last coat of finish. However, athletic activities will only resume after about a week following the application of the last coat finish. The third measure will be to mind the prevailing weather conditions at the time of the renovations. Accordingly, the sanding/refinishing works will not be carried out when there are very high temperatures and/or humidity. Finally, care will be taken to properly maintain the refinished floor. In this regard, there will be mats at all entrances into the gym to avoid dirt or other debris from being dropped on the floor. Also, people without appropriate footwear will not be allowed into the facility while it will be dust-mopped every day to keep it clean. Moreover, oil-treated dust mops, soap-based detergents, and water-based scrubbing machinery will be avoided.
Objectives of sanding and refinishing on the gym floor at EGHS are to:
- Repair the water-damaged gym floor; and
- Create a safer playing surface for students and athletes that spend countless hours on the gym floor.
Sanding and Refinishing Scope
The sanding and refinishing works will be carried out by the Cincinnati Floor Company. Accordingly, the work will entail furnishing all necessary materials, equipment, labor, and supervision in a bid to sand the current wood gym floor to bare wood. Moreover, the work will involve staining the three point areas, sealing two coats of oil-modified finish, striping the similar to existing (size and number of logos), then finally applying the two coats of oil-modified finish. However, the scope of work will only be performed after addressing the water damage on the floor. The current cupped boards will be made to lay flat before they can be sanded. In case some of the cupped boards will fail to lay flat due to water damage as noted at times, they will have to be removed and replaced.
Sanding and Refinishing Work Sequence
The suggested sanding and refinishing schedule takes into account that the floor is in rough condition. Accordingly, it will follow five steps as shown in figure 2 below.
Both the lighting and flooring funds were obtained through fundraising/ sponsoring. Accordingly, EGHS prefers to use fundraising/ sponsoring for smaller projects including sports needs like the current renovation activities. Correspondingly, capital/ building funds are used in larger projects meant to benefit a greater population. It follows that the priority for the funds was for the lighting works which upon completion ushered in the sanding/ refinishing works. Therefore, both phases were completed because there were enough funds.
Table 1: Cost Estimates for the LED Lighting System Works
|Item||Quantity||Unit Cost||Total Cost|
|LED Lighting Fixtures||44 fixtures||$300||$13,200|
|Potential LED Lighting Rebate||44 fixtures||$75||-$3,300|
Table 2: Cost Estimates for Sanding/Refinishing the Gym Floor
|Item||Unit Cost||Quantity||Total Cost|
|Sanding and Refinishing the Gym Floor||$3/sq. ft||6,536 sq. ft||$19,608|
Lighting and flooring are important components of a school gymnasium. It follows that when the components are in excellent working condition, students and athletes will get adequate training time and a comfortable venue to fully realize their potential. Since the gymnasium under focus has an old inefficient lighting system and a water-damaged floor, renovation works have been proposed. While it is also possible to rebuild afresh, a decision has been made in favor of renovation as it is less expensive, more efficient, and has fewer negative impacts on the environment. These renovation plans are advantageous and will help upgrade the old lighting system to a more efficient and energy-saving LED system. Moreover, the water-damaged flooring will be upgraded to maintain a perfectly clean, smooth, and even dustless or without scratches and cracks on the surface. Consequently, the students, athletes, and the local community will have access to a state-of-the-art facility once the works are completed. Accordingly, the contractor will require one week to complete the work including fitting the LED lighting system as well as sanding and refinishing the gym floor.
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Pope, C., Marks, E., Back, E., Leopard, T., & Love, T. Renovation versus new construction and building decision tool for educational facilities. Journal of Construction Engineering, 2016, 1-10. Web.
T-1 Lighting. (2019). LED gymnasium lighting for athletics clubs. Web.