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Saturday, 09 August 2008 12:47

Woodbine racetrack’s ultimate restoration

Written by services



cleaning challenges are commonplace for the building service contractor. But sometimes, certain projects can provide challenges that often seem insurmountable. Such was the case for a flooring project this year at Woodbine racetrack in toronto, ontario

Woodbine entertainment group is the largest operator of horseracing in canada. it is also recognized as one of the most innovative tracks in north america with more than 6 million people visiting annually.

From March to mid June, Woodbine’s 65,000 square foot fl oor was restored to such a condition that it now looks brand new.

Services editor lisa Kopochinski recently sat down with claudio colonel, Woodbine’s purchasing department buyer, as well as davis ciglen, regional sales executive for Johnsondiversey in canada and archie gomes, specials services supervisor of the Hurley Group to fi nd out what was involved in this extensive $65,000 project.

Services: What did this project entail? claudio colonel: Johnsondiversey established all the procedure requirements for this restoration project. they also assisted with assuring that the successful cleaning contractor was certified to complete a restoration project. We contracted the Hurley group to restore the entire 65,000 square feet of marmoleum on the second floor. Hurley and their special services team worked diligently and innovatively to make this project a huge success.

davis ciglen: the project entailed a full restoration of the fl oor. It had been damaged with a high pH stripper in the past and was discolored and blotchy.

colonel: This project fi rst began with our property services department wanting to outsource a cleaning contractor to perform a light strip and re-coat of wax for the marmoleum. upon further inspection by Johnsondiversey, the Hurley group and our purchasing department, we performed a full marmoleum restoration. This consisted of stripping the fl oor right down to the raw material of marmoleum, then laying down a protective coat of sealer followed by three to four coats of fi nish as recommended by Johnsondiversey and Forbo Flooring Systems (manufacturer of the fl oor).

archie gomes: all labor, scheduling and facilitation was coordinated by the Hurley group. the initiative itself was labor intensive, requiring four dedicated individuals nine hours a day for the duration of three months. due to the nature of business at Woodbine racetrack, the restoration took place after hours so as not to disrupt daily operations. With the active collaboration of The Hurley Group, JohnsonDiversey in concert with Woodbine Racetrack, a strategy was devised to remedy this cosmetic issue in the most efficient manner.

Services: How damaged was the floor? Colonel: The extent of the damage was the continuous years of dirt and wax build up the floor endured since it was originally installed about 10 years ago. The dirt building up in the layers of wax was causing a black shadowing effect, which caused the floor to appear dull, worn and nonvibrant from original form.

Ciglen: Woodbine looked at several options including replacement of the floor. We were able to save Woodbine over $1 million by restoring the floor as opposed to replacing it.

Services: What major challenges did you face? Ciglen: Our major challenge on this job was the amount of time to get the required results. The floor had a large build up of finish and sealer and therefore needed to be stripped up to three times with our Lino Safe product to ensure no more damage was being done to the floor.

Gomes: Due to the condition of the surface, the nature of the surface and the damage that it had endured over such a long period of time, the challenges for removal required delicate attention. As this particular space contends with high traffic throughout the span of their operational hours, the scheduling of work and areas to address were one of the biggest challenges to overcome. In addition, due to the progressive damage caused to the surface, the floor itself was very sensitive to abrasives. The build up of floor sealers and finishes due to incorrect product applications had to be treated in order to return the floor to its original condition.

Colonel: Receiving approval for such a big project was a hurdle that purchasing had to overcome. We approached executive management with a commitment from purchasing and a guarantee from Forbo and JohnsonDiversey that the restoration project and the proper aftercare procedures would prolong the life expectancy of the marmoleum floor for a minimum of 10-plus years. Executive management had intended to replace the second floor marmoleum with tiles at an estimated cost of $750,000.

Time management for this project was lengthy and purchasing governed every aspect to assure that this project was completed prior to Woodbine’s biggest and historical Queen’s Plate race held on June 22, 2008. All restoration work was completed between the hours of 11:30 pm and 8:00 am from Sunday to Wednesday. Purchasing worked closely with Hurley and Unisource Canada, which introduced the JohnsonDiversey products to Woodbine. Once we commenced with the project, I sourced all the Johnson products used for this project through Unisource. I worked closely with Unisource to assure timely deliveries to Woodbine were met so that Hurley could proceed with restoration without any delays.

Services: What products were used? Colonel: Partnering with our property services department, JohnsonDiversey derived a cleaning/ maintenance program along with the recommended Johnson products that complimented our Environmentally Friendly Green initiative to use on the marmoleum floors. JohnsonDiversey furthermore trained our property service staff on the proper care and use of their products used on the floor to assure compliance of guarantee from Forbo and JohnsonDiversey.

Ciglen: We used the Lino Secure system including Lino Safe, Lino base and our new High Mileage finish. Ongoing cleaning will be done with Stride and Revive. We were very active in the process by working with Hurley at night and doing regular walk-throughs. We have also set up the ongoing program for the floor now that the restoration has been done. This is the only floor other that hardwood that you would be able to repair.


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