The fans who attended the Parker Broncs’ volleyball home opener Sept. 12 got to see more than the match between the Broncs and the Odyssey Institute Minotaurs. They got to see the newly-rebuilt and finished floor in the O.B. Francis Gym, and they also got to check out the new plastic bleacher seats.
Parker Unified School Superintendent Bard Sale said they began looking into new plastic bleachers two years ago. They purchased them from a company called Norcon, a Phoenix-based firm known for dealing with athletic and educational furnishings.
The cost was approximately $140,000. The funds came out of the district’s capital funds and Impact Aid from the federal government.
The bleachers were supposed to be installed during the summer months, but, due to a variety of delays, they weren’t installed until after the new school year started. While waiting for the bleachers to be installed, the volleyball team practiced at Irataba Hall in the Colorado River Indian Tribes’ complex.
Among the improvements are individual seats and handrails on the steps. The steps are also lower, making them easier to climb. The new bleachers are also compliant with the Americans with Disability Act.
The bleachers are also colored. They’re mostly blue, but yellow seats spell out P-H-S.
Sale said he’s heard compliments about the bleachers, both on how they look and what it’s like to sit on them.
“The kids loved them at the first pep assembly,” he said. “I think they make the gym look up-to-date.”
As for the old bleachers, Sale said Norcon dismantled them. The school district kept the lumber, but the metals were removed to be recycled.
The O.B. Francis Gym is located on the campus of Parker High School, just off the parking lot on Laguna Avenue. It sees many athletic events during the year, including Parker High volleyball matches, wrestling meets, and boys’ and girls’ basketball games.