Wright Building Services were contracted to design and construct a raised pit podium for Warrington Gymnastics Club located in Warrington.
The club are located in a large facility close to the River Mersey and a sunken pit would have possibly caused some issues with damp and subsidence. Therefore, due to the size of the podium, the amount of equipment to be fitted and the fact the river was so close it was decided that a raised podium would be the best option.
Wright Building Services provided several drawings detailing different lay-out options enabling the customer to visualise exactly how the end result would look. These drawings were also given to the equipment supplier for their approval. Our “tried and tested” structural timber pit/podium design was utilised on this project to ensure the safety of the users and a lifetime of usage. All the timber had to be treated to guarantee its lifespan and “damp-proof” membranes were installed to ensure there would be no damp penetration.
The brief detailed all of the equipment the club wished to use within the raised podium so it was down to us to deliver a safe and usable lay-out. One of the main issues was the height within the building and we had to design a raised podium with this in mind to ensure that certain equipment could be used safely.
The 1200mm high raised podium was to incorporate a fast track and tumble track, both of these tracks would enter the main “loose foam” pit and would be recessed into the podium so they sat flush with the podium floor level so it was imperative that the sizes (heights, lengths and widths) were correct to ensure a perfect fit. A recessed area was also constructed to house a trampoline. The floor area of the trampoline was raised so that the trampoline sat flush with the podium floor level. The trampoline also had its own “loose foam” landing pit. An area was created to accommodate a 2-way vault run, it would enter the main “loose foam” pit and also have its own “hard” landing area. A high-bar pit area was situated next to the main “loose foam” pit and a set of A-bars were situated behind them with their own U-pit and dismount area. This was unique as we raised the area around the A-bars a further 500mm to provide an area for a coach to stand safely.
The structural timber framework of the 1200mm high raised podium was then constructed at our premises and transported to site ready for the agreed installation date. The club had cleared the area ready for us to start and we installed our safety fencing to allow the club to continue their classes whilst the installation took place. It took just over two weeks to install from start to finish including the installation of our GRP handrail system.
A 25mm thick foam cladding was then fitted to the external walls of the podiums and also to the internal pit walls and edges. Much of the equipment was installed by the equipment supplier as we progressed with the installation of the podium to minimise the time and disruption to the club.
Between ourselves, Warrington Gymnastics Club and the equipment suppliers, we designed a purposeful raised podium to accommodate not only the equipment the club requested but also to take into account certain safety issues the project required.
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