About a dozen times a year, the Redbird Athletics Field House Facilities crew is assigned the formidable task of removing and re-installing Redbird Arena’s hardwood floor.
Though the surface typically serves as home to Redbirds men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball, the iconic Doug Collins Court must be taken out on occasion so the arena can turn into a venue for concerts, award banquets, Gamma Phi Circus shows, and of course spring and fall commencement.
Bringing together their talent and muscle is a mix of Athletics facilities staff and student workers. This well-orchestrated operation allows a relatively small number of workers to re-install the floor in about four hours.
“Organization is the key. Every piece is numbered.” said Field House Facilities Supervisor Adam Southwick. “It’s just like brickwork, except you are doing it on the floor.”
The 15 rows of panels are labeled A through O. Every row has 15 panels, and each is locked into place and finally seated with the tap of a sledgehammer.
“With each piece weighing in at 120 pounds, you’re talking about a good chunk of weight, so the fork lift is critical,” Southwick said.
Learn more about the process by watching the video above.
Bob Tomaski can be reached at rdtomas@IllinoisState.edu.