Straddling the border of Canada and the United States lies a trio of waterfalls that collectively form the southern end of the Niagara Gorge and are aptly referred to as Niagara Falls. Not far from this popular tourist destination that attracts visitors from around the world, you will find Niagara Falls, Ontario, a small, but vibrant city known for its friendly population and long list of outdoor experiences available to visitors.
Our most recent project landed us in the City of Niagara Falls, which contracted our organization to breathe some new air into a set of out-dated grandstand bleachers in one of the city’s many outdoor parks. Oakes Park is found smack dab in the centre of this bustling small city and is only roughly 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the falls themselves. Amenities at the park include an ample parking area, children’s playground, soccer pitch, two baseball diamonds, track surface, restrooms and concessions.
Surrounding the baseball diamond equipped with ample lighting for night-time play is a fairly large grandstand made entirely of precast concrete, fitted with out-of-date wooden bleacher planks for spectator seating.
The City of Niagara had approached us in an attempt to have an experienced athletic infrastructure company completely redesign and revamp the current seating structure on site. Our team immediately got to work on the project once it was awarded. With the existing concrete in place, project stakeholders decided it would be best to remove the existing wood planks and accompanying painted steel brackets with brand new aluminum seating, paired with laser-cut and bent galvanized steel seating brackets.
The precast concrete grandstand is “U Shaped” and the new seat planking was designed to follow the shape of the existing stand. To achieve this result, each of the new planks had to be individually cut on site and mitred to follow the profile of the seating structure.
The existing painted steel brackets were installed on 32” centres. With the rigidity of the aluminum planking, this allowed us to anchor the new seat brackets every 64” on centre, essentially using every second anchor point. The existing anchor points were able to be reused and we supplied and installed new galvanized steel hardware compatible with the existing anchors.