All photos courtesy of Junckers Hardwood Inc.Junckers Hardwood Inc. is no stranger to gym floors. Having been in the business for over 80 years, they’ve supplied the materials for countless gym buildings. When they got the call for this job, they knew it was going to be different from their usual floors.
What makes this job unique? The four-court sports hall at Newry Leisure Centre in Ireland has a fold-away Junckers sports floor housing a trampoline pit underneath. Designed by Kennedy Fitzgerald Architects and constructed by Felix O’Hare & Co. Ltd., the trampoline is hydraulically lifted up once the wood floor folds away, making it flush with the wood floor while in use.
“We use press dried beech for our sports floors,” says Declan Dolan, Country Manager at Junckers Ltd. Ireland. “Press drying beech is a unique process that not only changes the molecular structure of the timber, but also provides one of the hardest wearing solid hardwood sports floors in the global market.”
The sports system installed at the Newry Leisure Centre was the New Era Cradle. “The sleepers are laid out roughly 12” on center, with wood planks on top of that,” says Dolan. “The cradle system is one of our leveling undercarriages where we laser level and pack the sleeper over a cradle while it’s being installed.”
Junckers credits the design to Kennedy Fitzgerald Architects in Belfast. On the technical side, the challenge was to have a seamless lid that is part of a performance floor and then have part of the same floor fold back to expose a trampoline pit when required.
The floor itself was fitted as normal to accommodate expansion and contraction. The lid was cut out afterward. The lid of the trampoline is a little different. “The lid has plywood on it, with our floor nailed to it,” adds Dolan.
The awarding winning Newry Leisure Centre has in total has 25,000 sq. ft. of Junckers Sports flooring, including an eight-court sports hall, a four-court sports hall, squash courts, and a handball court. The floor was finished with Junckers’ HP Sport Paint and HP Sport Finish.
“This was a fun job,” says Dolan. “It was rewarding to see our sports system used for this unique design.”