Champions Centre Takes Advantage of Rubber Flooring
Event-Driven Church's Switch to Rubber Flooring Allows for Even More Innovation
By Brett Hart
For an event driven church like Champions Centre, minimizing costs for maintenance and replacement of its flooring is a big deal - especially as its events become more creative. That's why, in 2011 it began converting nearly all of the carpeted surfaces of its 180,000 square foot main campus in Tacoma, Washington, over to polished concrete and rubber flooring surfaces.
The non-denominational church has three campuses that include a school and dome event center (which served as inspiration for the Tacoma Dome) and hosts numerous large events throughout the year.
The Need for Durable Flooring
Steve Shackett, whose father was the founding paster, found that ''our carpets were getting beat to death.''
Drawing upon his construction background, Shackett began looking into flooring that would be easily maintained, durable and long lasting.
''We're constantly renovating and updating,'' Shackett said. ''We have coffee shops and book stores in all of our locations and we allow our folks to bring coffee into the auditoriums. Once you spill a latte, its pretty tough to get it out. So we were looking for that kind of material and we found it. We found something comfortable and lasting in the rubber.''
Extreme Floor Makeover
Shackett began Champions Centre's switchover to rubber flooring by installing approximately 6,100 square feet of 3/8 inch thick 3x3 foot rubber tiles - which were black with a 10 percent tan/mocha color flec blend - in the first year.
A year later, he installed another 1,200 square feet of black rolled rubber of the same thickness and an additional 7,500 square feet of the rubber tiles - this time with 20 percent color.
''We like the rubber tiles,'' Shackett said. ''We have that in our auditoriums, primarily because you can do it custom with a little bit of color speckles, and it adds just some depth, and it looks better. We use the rolled black rubber in our auditoriums and three different stages just for the solid black color on the platform itself.''
In each of the last six years, Champions Centre has continued to convert more of its facility over to rubber flooring at a pace of anywhere between 900 and 8,900 square feet per year. From stage areas to hallways, auditorium floors and even stairways, Champions Centre continues to find innovative ways to use rubber flooring to its advantage.
This year, Shackett has a 1,500 square foot installation of rubber tiles planned for the school, bringing its total rubber flooring area to approximately 24,200 square feet - 17,000 square feet in tiles and 7,200 square feet in rolls.
Serving the Purpose
''We found that that was the most practical and efficient way to maintain our facilities,'' said Shackett, who has been with the church for 40 years. ''It should be there until I'm long gone.''
''We do a lot of things in our auditoriums and on our stages with lighting,'' Shackett added. ''It's a progressive way to maintain your facility. It just makes sense. Our last men's conference, we had motorcycles doing jumps in our auditorium off a ramp and it didn't do anything to them.''
Champions Centre's main auditorium seats 2,500 people, and it also has another auditorium with seating for 750.
''In both auditoriums, the rubber is very important to us because it allows us to always look fresh and clean, and yet it is so durable. It doesn't look worn and beat up.''
To maintain the floor, Champions Centre runs a Zamboni-like floor washing machine across the floor 2-4 times per month, which Shackett says makes the floor look ''brand new and fresh.''
''We're not a normal church,'' Shackett said, noting it has a 7,000-8,000 member congregation and five services per weekend. ''Pastor Kevin Gerald is a forward thinking pastor. ... We do a big Christmas production over the holiday. And we have all kinds of sleighs and different things going in and out of the auditorium. You can do so much with it, and you don't have to worry about covering it or being aware that you may ruin the carpet.''
''Everyone that comes here, the first thing they ask is 'Hey! Where'd you get that floor?''' Shackett said. ''We love it. It's durable. It makes sense. It's practical and it looks great.''