Budget constraints are a constant factor for every facility and athletic director. There is a constant conflict between the perfect update and renovation plan and the reality of cost.
At Lake Nona High School in Orange County, Florida, Athletic Director Aaron Crawford, CAA, found the perfect balance.
“When updating and expanding our stadium we chose to go with pre-fabricated aluminum bleachers because of budget considerations,” Crawford explained. “Building custom bleachers wasn’t a smart use of our funds. But the problem with that kind of configuration is that it creates an unsightly view. We knew we had to be creative to hide that view, secure the open area, and I was not willing to compromise the very best custom look for our field.”
To find the solution that would dress up his stadium and hide the unsightly views created by pre-fabricated bleachers, Crawford contacted the experts at Ball Fabrics, Inc. His initial request was to hide the 4-5’ rise, which exposed the bleacher understructure. Concurrent with that goal was the safety issue.
“We needed to secure the area beneath the bleachers,” Crawford said. “We wanted to prevent the kids from gaining access for their own safety. We also wanted to establish a boundary to keep equipment on the field and not underneath the bleachers.”
Crawford presented a list of aesthetic and security needs when he contacted Ball Fabrics. In addition to securing and hiding the bleacher understructure, he wanted attractive branding options throughout the facility. To complete the new visual aesthetics he also wanted to hide the necessary maintenance areas that can often be an eyesore.
“I’m a difficult guy to please,” he admitted. “I have high expectations. But everyone from Ball Fabrics more than met my expectations. Their customer service is phenomenal. Everyone answers their phone and their emails in a timely manner. I had a long list and they had answers for everything I needed.”
In the end, aesthetics and security were accomplished by hanging PrivaScreen around the base of the bleachers. Ball Fabrics’ offers a patent-pending mounting system that makes it easy to install fence screen on any bleacher configuration for a professional, attractive finish.
Crawford also chose PrivaScreen for all the field fencing. “I like having that visual boundary around the field. With fence screen up it is so much easier to manage events from the field, to get a quick body count of who is on the field, and who is beyond the fences.”
He used PrivaScreen like a cage around his equipment area, effectively hiding what had been an inconvenient but necessary eyesore. The extensive use of windscreen throughout the facility unified the visual aesthetics while accomplishing Crawford’s practical considerations.
Finally, he worked with the Ball Fabrics print professionals to design and print a 152’ fence mural on the back of the stadium, establishing effective branding for the updated facility at the point of first visual contact. The fence mural, printed in four panels on windscreen specifically designed for high-quality outdoor graphics, announces the team mascot and motto in full color: This is Lion Country!
“It’s all about security and aesthetics,” Crawford said. “When I came on board I inherited an inferior windscreen product. Within the first year it was already ruined…faded, cracking, and coming off the fence. So I knew the importance of choosing a quality product that wouldn’t have to be replaced every year. It is smart budgeting to do it right the first time.”
“Working with Ball Fabrics, I ticked off all my wants and my needs,” he continued. “They provided the expertise that answered my questions, and a quality product that is built to last. I know I won’t have to replace that windscreen for years. They provided a custom product that gives my high school the look of a college. I couldn’t be more satisfied.”