College Planning & Management

FEB 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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Facilities PHOTO COURTESY OF HARLEQUIN FLOORS C AMPUS SPACES A Spring in Their Steps Selecting the right fooring for dance and performance spaces is vital in order to protect performer's bodies. BY SCOT T BER MAN W HEN THE SCHOOL OF Theatre and Dance at Ohio's Kent State University prepared to move into a new space — including three dance studios — in 2010, one of the key issues educators had to look into was what kind of floors would be needed for the University's diverse and busy program. Among the priorities: "The best flooring we could afford," says Andrea Shearer, the school's Dance Division director and associate professor. Curricula, enrollment, space, and future needs of dance programs differ, of course, so too their floor needs. Different movements 26 require different responses under foot, at least ideally, but limited space and budgets can make things less than ideal. For example, "it is a common assumption that a well-designed sports floor will suit the needs of dancers," explains large supplier Harlequin Floors, "but there are two vital differences between a dance floor and a sports floor: the construction of the sprung subfloor and the performance surface. The main goal of the sprung floor is to provide protection to the dancer. Providing dancers with enough 'give' as well as resistance." A sprung floor — it is a type of float- COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / FEBRUARY 2013 ing floor, and there are a range of types consisting of layers — provides a cushion effect, a crucial resilient buffer between dancers' joints and a hard floor beneath. Factors to Consider There are many options and factors to consider. For example, what material is best for the types of dance your program teaches, or could teach in order to grow the program in the future? Also, is your structural subfloor sealed, and above, at, or below grade? That matters because an unsealed, belowgrade slab can swell or warp your dance floor by drawing up moisture from the ground. WWW.PLANNING 4EDUCATION.COM

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