Founded in 1877 as Western Canada’s first university, the University of Manitoba (U of M) located in Winnipeg is the province’s largest and only research-intensive, post-secondary institution. With extremely comprehensive post and undergraduate programs, it today offers more than 27,000 daily students the opportunity to achieve degrees in over 90 separate disciplines.
For the past three years, Simon Wang has served as facilities manager/director responsible for the maintenance of over 500,000 square feet of athletic and recreational facilities and equipment managed by the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management. Most recently, this included the $3-million renovation of the main locker rooms at the Frank Kennedy Centre (FKC), which includes a six-lane salt-water pool and diving area, three gymnasiums, a cardio and free-weight training area and indoor track (Grotto), squash and racquetball courts, dry sauna, new cycling and circuit training studios, and a new gender-neutral community changing room.
“This project was long overdue,” says Wang. “The centre opened in 1972 and the locker rooms had not been updated in more than 40 years. As a result, we had to redo nearly everything to accommodate the quality demanded by our students, staff, alumni and community members. We elevated the entire look and feel of the women and men’s locker rooms with new flooring, countertops, mirrors, fountains, sinks, benches, toilets, privacy showers and of course lockers.”
According to Wang, the replacement of the centre’s existing metal lockers was a necessity. They were badly rusted and dented after four decades of nonstop use. The project’s architects and design team performed an exhaustive search for suitable, long-term alternatives, which ended with the selection of 3,000 Tufftec lockers from Scranton Products.
Engineered for strength and durability, Tufftec’s HDPE material withstands the harshest daily use, while remaining virtually maintenance free. The lockers are also impact, dent and graffiti resistant as well as impervious to moisture. With 25 to100 per cent post-consumer recycled content, Tufftec’s HDPE is naturally resistant to bacteria, mold and mildew. In addition, they are Children & Schools GREENGUARD Certified for indoor air quality, 100 per cent recyclable and contribute to LEED points. The lockers are designed to endure the wear and tear of athletic and recreational environments.
“We took a good, long look at all the alternatives and ultimately decided on Tufftec,” says Wang. “Long-lasting durability was the driving factor. We wanted a product that wouldn’t rust and would be easy clean. Tufftec met these criteria and added a 25-year warranty. So far, we’ve only needed to spot clean the surfaces, doors and hardware, and wet mopping and vacuuming inside the lockers when needed. Their gray tones also blend very nicely with the new look of our locker rooms, helping us to achieve the upbeat, clean and fresh atmosphere that our members deserve.”
In the future, Wang is also counting on the newly installed lockers to withstand the increased rigors posed by the grand opening of the university’s new 100,000-square-foot Active Living Centre, which will officially open at U of M in 2015. Connected directly to the Frank Kennedy Centre, the $46-million facility was designed as a world-class health, wellness and fitness facility that will boast improved accessibility, state-of-the-art cardio and resistance training area, a 200-metre indoor track, a 12-metre climbing wall, an applied research and training centre, a high-performance strength and conditioning centre, three multi-purpose studios and a gathering area for students. The centre will also have space to accommodate the professional needs of researchers and graduate students dedicated to helping others achieve more active lifestyles.
“The new locker rooms were also upgraded to meet the anticipated needs of approximately 20,000 students, staff and community members participating in activities at both facilities. That’s another reason why the specification process was so intense. We chose only the highest-quality materials that would last for decades and match our ongoing commitment to excellence and achievement,” adds Wang.
For more information, visit umanitoba.ca/kinrec/bsal/facilities.
ABOUT SCRANTON PRODUCTS
For more than 25 years, Scranton Products’ premium brands have led the plastic partitions market setting new benchmarks for the industry in quality and delivery. Our well-known brands, including Hiny Hiders, Resistall and Tufftec, feature the most durable, low maintenance and best looking partitions, lockers and industrial sheet products in the industry. They won’t dent, rust or need painting, and because they have color throughout, delamination is not a factor. For more information, visit scrantonproducts.com