Headquartered just south of Canada’s capital, the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario (CDSBEO) proudly offers quality Catholic education and programming to students across the eastern regions of the province. Blending specialized learning opportunities, athletics, and faith, the school board is committed to social justice and serves as the board of nearly 40 schools in Ontario.
One of the most common safety risks in gymnasiums across North America today is undoubtedly outdated gym partitions. These massive dividers were commonplace in most gymnasiums throughout the 80s and 90s but with the development of new technology, improvements in design and additional safety mechanisms, they are quickly becoming dangerous relics of the past.
As such, a large part of what we do is assess the current condition of these structures and recommend replacement where and when necessary. The truth is, in most cases, these large partitions are dangerous and planning for replacement should be top of mind for any facility manager or operator.
This was the case when our team was contacted by the CDSBEO earlier this year. With three schools on their roster with these outdated partitions in place, it was deemed time for their replacement. Our team was sent to visit three schools including St. John Bosco in Brockville as well as Holy Trinity and Sacred Heart, both located in Cornwall. The plan was not simply to provide an adequate replacement, we were also tasked with carefully and safely removing and disposing of the existing structures as well.
From an engineering perspective, these projects can be filled with nuance and a proper assessment of the ceiling condition as well as any existing bulkheads and other obstructions in place is crucial.
Following preliminary designs, our team was once again on-site to remove the structures. By carefully dismantling the old partitions, our team also removed a number of bulkheads that would no longer be required as well as the outdated tracking and drive systems.
Once the demolition and clean-up were completed, our innovative 4050 centre-drive curtains were installed. Eliminating the need for drive belts, cables or rollers, these state-of-the-art curtains operate at twice the speed of other typical gym divider curtains.
Following some initial testing and training exercises for key stakeholders and staff members, our team left each of the respective schools not only with brand new curtain dividers but also with the peace of mind that comes with upgraded equipment, built with safety in mind.