An Answer for High Point Loads

Tempe Solves an Equipment Dilemma with Omnisports™ HPL

Sometimes the big picture involves more than just sports.

For instance, K-12 gymnasiums are no longer just a place for basketball games and P.E. classes. Gyms host assemblies, concerts, dances, science fairs, and many other non-sporting events. Sometimes these events involve heavy equipment, which without proper precautions can damage a dedicated sports floor. In that case, how do you balance the performance needs of athletes with the practical needs of the space? Is there a “hybrid” gym surface that combines the look and feel of a traditional athletic floor with the durability and load tolerance of a commercial floor?

The Tempe School District in Arizona asked these same questions when it sought to replace the flooring in all 4 of its middle school gyms. The district was thinking of the big picture. Although the spaces were primarily used for sports (6 hours of physical education per day plus games) there would also be concerts, plays, and student assemblies. Each of these events would require heavy items like stages, risers, and sound equipment to be moved across the playing surface.

This sort of use was ingrained in the day-to-day operations of the school. The existing floor was a commercial carpet that tolerated heavy loads well enough but created a drab environment that did not exactly look like a true gymnasium. More critically, it did not provide a safe and comfortable surface for sports. Players would stumble due to improper surface friction, and the floor provided little shock absorption to reduce strain. Maintenance was also a problem. Stains that accompany sports activities were not as easy to clean on a carpeted surface. And the gym’s appearance suffered as a result.

The Tempe School District Facility Managers and Athletics Coordinator Kylee Schneckloth were seemingly at a crossroads. They could choose a true sports floor that looked and performed the way student athletes expected. This would mean setting limitations on the heavy equipment already in use at the schools. On the other hand, they could sacrifice appearance and sports performance to maintain the status quo. That would allow the use of current equipment, but would not improve the athletic uses and public perception of their gyms. It would also perpetuate the struggle with maintenance.

Neither option seemed ideal. Knowing that middle school is a pivotal time for developing athletes, the decision was taken very seriously. The school did not want to compromise either sports performance or functionality, so the district sought out all of the available alternatives and industry innovations. Luckily, their persistence paid off. As it turns out, there was a relatively new sports flooring system that met their specific needs better than any surface they had considered.


The Solution for Tempe Schools

Omnisports™ HPL Golden Maple and Royal Blue

Omnisports™ HPL gave Tempe students the sports experience they deserved without changing their use of heavy equipment.

What exactly is Omnisports™ HPL? It is a field-constructed flooring system that bridges the gap between more traditional sports surfaces and those designed for high point load tolerance. It uses the same realistic wood grain surface patterns that you will find in the regular Omnisports™ line of athletic flooring, but underneath is a 4 mm, high-density rubber base layer that allows the floor to tolerate heavy static loads. Even with this exceptional load tolerance, Omnisports™ HPL still meets all of the performance criteria outlined in the ASTM F2772 sports flooring standard. It provides Class 1 shock absorption, as well as adequate ball rebound, surface friction, and vertical deformation for game play.

“We look at the big picture, and not just what’s going on in sports but what else might be coming onto our gym floor. We have bleachers that come out from the wall. The bleachers are about 20-30 rows…We need to make sure that the flooring will be strong enough to handle that. We considered it all… We went out into the community and looked at what they had. At the end of the day it came down to what was best for our students.”

—Kylee Schneckloth, Physical Education and Athletics Coordinator

The unique characteristics of Omnisports™ HPL created a perfect solution for the dilemma faced by the Tempe School District—to maintain the use of heavy equipment while providing the look and feel of a real gym floor. Before finding Omnisports™ HPL, the district’s facility managers considered numerous options, but none of them fit. Hardwoods had the right aesthetics and good performance properties but could be easily damaged by heavier loads if users were not careful. Rubber and poured polyurethane surfaces could accommodate heavy loads, but they did not create the look and feel of a traditional athletic gym. The traditional hardwood appearance of Omnisports™ HPL made it feel like competitive sports belonged in the space and inspired developing student athletes to take their sport to the next level.

“I’ve been in a lot of gyms…it’s right up there with any other district if not the best…It really gives a bright feeling to our gyms.The look it has…parents go ‘wow’.”

—Kylee Schneckloth, Physical Education and Athletics Coordinator

Omnisports™ HPL gave 4 middle schools in Tempe, Arizona the chance to take a step forward without taking a step back. Without changing how they used their gyms, they were able to have a playing surface with the realistic wood grain look that they wanted. Having a gymnasium that “looked the part” and performed accordingly encouraged Tempe’s next generation of athletes to perform their best. At the same time, the Tempe School District kept its daily routine and equipment use without sacrificing the look and feel of a real athletic floor, all thanks to Omnisports™ HPL.




Contact Tarkett Sports



Call 888-364-6541 or visit to find a representative.

Tarkett Sports  •  175 N Industrial Boulevard  •  Calhoun, Georgia 30701  •  888-364-6541  •