Founded in 1877 as Western Canada’s first university, the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg is the province’s largest and only research-intensive post-secondary institution. With comprehensive post- and undergraduate programs, it 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 the 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, 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, a dry sauna, new cycling and circuit training studios, and a new gender-neutral community changing room.
Sourcing Materials for 3,000 New Lockers
“This project was long overdue,” Wang said. “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’s 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 non-stop 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.
“We took a good, long look at all the alternatives and ultimately decided on Tufftec,” Wang explained. “Long-lasting durability was the driving factor. We wanted a product that wouldn’t rust and would be easy clean. Tufftec met those criteria and added a 25-year warranty. So far, we’ve only needed to spot clean the surfaces, doors, and hardware and wet mop and vacuum inside the lockers as needed. The locker’s gray tones also blend very nicely with the new look our members deserve.”
About HDPE Plastic
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% to 100% post-consumer recycled content, Tufftec’s HDPE is naturally resistant to bacteria, mold, and mildew. In addition, they’re Children & Schools GREENGUARD Certified for indoor air quality, 100% recyclable, and contribute to LEED points. The lockers are designed to endure the wear and tear of athletic and recreational environments.
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 officially opened in 2015.
Leading the Way in Quality
Connected directly to the Frank Kennedy Centre, the $46 million facility was designed as a world-class health, wellness, and fitness facility that boasts improved accessibility, a state-of-the-art cardio and resistance training area, a 200-metre indoor track, a 12-metre climbing wall, an applied research and training center, a high-performance strength and conditioning center, three multi-purpose studios, and a gathering area for students.
The centre also has 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,” Wang noted.