HOLMESVILLE — While college basketball fans have poured their heart and soul into making the right choices for tournament brackets, employees at The Ohio Floor Co. in Holmesville have been preparing temporary courts for the big dance.
“We’re doing three floors,” said Kevin Miller, operations manager of The Ohio Floor Co. “One will go to Kansas City, one to Indianapolis and the other to Memphis.”
The maple floors were sent from Connor Flooring to Holmes County to be sanded, finished with artwork, preserved and cured.
“These are portable floors you put down in an arena and then pull them back up,” Miller said.
The floor comes in sections that are roughly 4-by-8-feet and are placed together like a jigsaw puzzle. Once assembled, Miller said, his employees will sand the floor from its raw material state. Two coats of sealer are applied and then the crew gets to work on the art and lines.
“NCAA gives us the graphics and we have to meet their standards,” Miller said. “We have a plotter to do the lettering and ribbons but the big center circle is mainly a light blue with darker blue around the edges. That all needs to be blended so that’s done freehand with an airbrush.”
Once all of the graphics and lines are applied, two top coats are applied to finish the floor.
Miller said it takes about two weeks to complete the process, from sanding to finish coats. After that, the floor is disassembled and placed into racks, where it will cure for about 10 days.
The facility where all of the magic happens is big enough to accommodate one floor at a time, 60-by-120-feet. Once the first floor hits the rack, the next floor is assembled and the entire process starts over again.
Although The Ohio Floor Co. has only been working with portable floors for about nine months, the push to get the company involved with the NCAA tournament has been on for years.
“At first we thought it was too much to get into, but Connor Floors was persistent to get us into this,” Miller said. “We’ve done a few before this, including floors in the Rushmore Civic Center and Jackson, Miss., Coliseum.”
For a company that started with a couple of men producing residential floors to working on basketball courts seen by millions, Miller is proud of the progress the company has seen in its first two decades.
“We’re excited about this,” he said. “We are honored they even asked us to do it. Only a handful of companies in the U.S. do this kind of work at this level, and we are the only company in Ohio.”
Once the tournament is over, Miller said the portable floors will be offered for sale to the school that wins that section of the bracket. The offer goes down the line until the NCAA finds a buyer. Once purchased, the floor could return to Holmesville to be sanded down and customized for the purchasing school.