Where There is a Will, There is a Way: Telescopic Bleacher Buying Options

I’m sure if we were to sit down with you and discuss your current telescopic bleacher situation, the first thing you would say is, “Well, that sounds nice, but we don’t have the funds for that.” Capital improvement projects are an investment, and investments take time so if you don’t already have funds set aside, have a donor prospect or dedicated fundraising team with time to prepare, your options may seem limited.

Seem is the key word.

You do have options.

You can streamline the process so it’s more efficient. Rather than soliciting with your own Request for Proposals (RFP), Sourcewell, previously NJPA, is a national cooperative purchasing agent that has already done the work for you. Going with a purchasing agent like Sourcewell means they’ve already vetted out the bidding process to bring you the best value to fit your needs.

“Cooperative purchasing is “Procurement conducted by, or on behalf of, one or more Public Procurement Units” as defined by the American Bar Association Model Procurement Code for State and Local Governments.
Sourcewell's analysts streamline the procurement process by developing RFPs and IFBs for national, competitive solicitations that meet or exceed local requirements. Our rigorous process is continually refined to best meet member needs and allows us to offer exceptional products from nationally acclaimed vendors.” - www.sourcewell-mn.gov

Hussey Seating Company, our featured Telescopic Bleacher provider, is an approved vendor for Sourcewell providing you access to the best value pricing for more than just you bleachers, including:

  • Seating Solution Design Services
  • Telescopic Bleacher Seating
  • Telescopic Platform Seating
  • Stadium Seating
  • Arena Seating
  • Fixed Auditorium Seating
  • Clarin by husseyseating Portable Chairs
  • Grandstand Seating Planks & Covers
  • Safety Inspections, Parts & Services

Did you see that? Even Safety Inspections, Parts & Services is on this list – giving you the advantage of combined buying power and the ability to cost effectively do your due diligence we mentioned in our previous post.

Another option: Grants

The grants we hear about most often stem from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Safety Grants. If your bleachers are unsafe, for either you (staff and set up team) or your patrons, you’ll want to look here and see what is possible. The application process can rigorous, but it can be helpful when it comes to replacement, upgrades, and repair.

“Wait, what does a device to move bleachers have to do with safety and security?
Turns out the rules for the grant program were written to include a broad definition of “safety” for students and employees.
So not only are metal detectors and trauma kits covered, but also floor-cleaning machines, cutting/slicing equipment and “safe” food fryers.” - What is ‘safety’?, The Columbus Dispatch

So what does a device to move bleachers have to do with safety?

Bleachers with an Integral Power System have the advantage over manually operated bleachers by not only reducing damages to your equipment but they provide a more safe way for your staff to open and close the bleachers. There are no ergonomically correct bleacher operating moves for manual bleachers. You’re usually walking backwards pulling when opening and pushing all bent over with your head down when closing with no way to keep your back straight during either. Regardless of the type of bleachers, you have to bend and pull and bend and push.  When you are pulling the bleachers open or pushing them closed, you end up reaching the open or closed position by getting a big slam to a halt, causing impact to your back, legs, arms, shoulders and neck as well as the possibility of crushed fingers or smashing your face into them from slipping and falling just to name a few.

There have been some unique devices that have been fabricated and provided here and there but nothing reduces injury hazards like adding integral power to your bleachers. Just a reminder, only properly trained personnel should operate the bleachers to further keep safety at the forefront.

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Budgeting for Renovations: Telescopic Bleachers

Maybe budgeting for new telescopic bleachers just isn’t in the plan for 2019 but renovations are necessary for both your staff and your students.

Where Do You Start?

The best place to start is to take inventory of what you have with a complete Telescopic Seating Inspection for Code Compliance and Safety. An inspection will give insight on the severity of code compliant and safety issues as well as what possible upgrades you could make to your seating. If you truly are interested in upgrades, make sure to let your technician know so they can provide options that best suit your needs and answer any questions while they’re on site.

Another item to take into consideration is the overall age of your seating unit as well as the make and model and how easily it can be upgraded while keeping the maximum seating capacity. For instance, if you have an older unit without dedicated aisle and aisle rails, in order to upgrade your unit to include these items, you will lose seating capacity but you will upgrade in safety and code compliance (also decreasing liability).

What is the general footprint of your existing bleachers? Do you have room to grow length wise? Do you have room to grow if you were to add additional rows? Are you also wanting to incorporate portable team seating and scorers tables? During this process, be sure to ask questions and get your questions answered.

Remember Code Compliance

Chapter 5 of the ICC-300, Section 501.4 states: “Alterations. Alterations to any tiered seating shall conform with the requirements of this standard for new construction. Portions of the structure not altered and not affected by the alteration are not required to comply with the requirements in this standard for a new structure.”

Meaning, if you upgrade your aisle rails, you need to be sure they meet the code requirements referenced in Chapters 1-4.

Bottom Line: Do your research and make sure that the people doing the upgrades know what they’re talking about. Code requirements aren’t in place to be a hassle, they’re in place to keep spectators safe.

What is the end goal?

Is your goal to increase seating capacity? Or maybe it is to give your gym a fresh face with an Extreme Logo or Signature Logo Seating. Or perhaps, you have an older model of bleachers that does not have dedicated aisles and aisle rails, and you would like to create ease of access and safety for your patrons.

Depending on your overall goal, you do have options. If your seating unit is code compliant and safe, you can add to your school spirit with replacement seats, colored rails, skirt-board logos, step logos, and a fresh full-bleed Safety-End Closure Curtain that blocks unauthorized access to your bleacher’s understructure.

Is additional seating your number one goal? If you don’t have it in your budget for a full replacement, we suggest looking into the Maxam1 Portable Bleachers that can be moved throughout the building for multi-use purposes. Not sure if this is right for you? Contact us and try out our sample for a game or two.

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Drop us a line and let us know what YOU need to move your project forward.

New Year, New Budget Planning: Telescopic Seating

Our Why.

Providing the best solution for you with code compliance and safety at the forefront because our kids, our family, and our community are in those seats.

Do Your Research.

The best solution for your facility may not be the same as the school district down the road. For some, it’s more about the look and feel of the gymnasium and for others it’s more about functionality and ease of use. Truth is, capital improvement purchases such as seating can be extremely complicated, but they don’t have to be if you do your homework. Considering this is typically a once in a generation purchase, you want to approach it correctly, but where do you start? We’ve gotten a lot of questions and a lot feedback over the years as well as calls to update new seating because not all seating options were considered including the addition of team seating, scorer tables, or partial seating options.

Last year, we sat down with Olmsted Falls to discuss their High School Bleacher Replacement project and you may be shocked to know that there were only 13 days (not business days, but days) between the date they contacted us and the day they supplied us with a Purchase Order. What made their decision that easy? Simple: They did their research.

We talked with Timothy Atkinson about his process for choosing Farnham Equipment Company and Hussey Seating Company and found out just how they did their due diligence prior to making a selection. The district passed a Bond Levy in November 2016 for renovations to be completed in 2018. The district wanted to show the community they were progressing with the renovations by starting in the gymnasium, so rather than wait until 2018, they had their new bleachers installed prior to the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

Mr. Atkinson shared with us that they got the parents involved on their research. Knowing that a board office member and her son spent numerous hours in gymnasiums across the state for wrestling meets, Atkinson asked her to take note of what she did and didn’t like about the bleachers she was spending countless hours on along with the manufacturer information. She involved other parents in the process and shared the information with the decision makers. That, coupled with the benefits of NJPA pricing, now Sourcewell, and quick response from FEC, helped them make their decision.

Bottom Line: Know what you truly want and involve your community or colleagues in the process to create the ultimate wish list.

Budget Numbers

Once you have your wish list, find out from the experts what is truly possible within your space including the addition of media platforms, team seating, and/or scorer tables. Even if these items aren’t feasible for you right now budget wise, you want to be able to add them down the road without having to modify your seating again. The majority of the bleachers we install include at least two of these in their layout if not all three and proper egress has to be considered. Read more about Egress & What it Has to do with Bleachers, Team Seating and Scorers’ Tables.

Let’s Talk Extras

We’ve Got Spirit How ‘Bout You? Hussey Seating Company has a Total Graphics Package that provides the ultimate fan experience from Xtreme Logos, StepSign Graphics, CourtSign Graphics, Safety End Closure Graphics, CourtSide Graphics, Colored Rails, Media Platform Graphics, and Team Seating. Many of these options are great for selling sponsorships to assist with your investment. You dream it up – we can make it happen.

Easy Button. Quite literally if you upgrade to a wireless remote for your bleachers. Other ease of use options include Auto-Rotating Aisle Rails and Hinge Kits for Floor to First Row Aisle Steps. If you use your aisle steps now (you should – code compliance!) you know just how heavy the steps can be and that sometimes they wonder off to a closet somewhere… Additional accessories can be found here.

VIP Access. Whether you want to highlight the student section or create a sponsored VIP area, you can upgrade your seats to include backrests, cup holders, and more. Color combinations are vast so you have options!

 

Want More Information?

Looking for more information or ready to purchase? Contact Pat Kindelin or David Fahrenholz – they’ve got you covered. Curious about why Hussey Seating Company is the industry leader when it comes to telescopic solutions? Check them out for yourself here. We’ve partnered with Hussey for over 40 years and stand by their product, so much so that we are one of their Hussey Advantage Regional Service Centers with our Maintenance Solutions program.