The Association of Police Athletic/Activities League (PAL) in Philadelphia is a 70-year-old organization that aspires to be the premier youth-serving organization in the city, by reducing crime, promoting character development, and improving education. Originally started as a sand lot baseball league, today PAL of Philadelphia offers a wide range of athletic programs, classes, field trips and special events. With 18 PAL centers in Philadelphia, the organization is making a difference by providing a safe place and a positive environment for kids, while also introducing them to a multitude of free activities and experiences to which they might not otherwise have access.
“PAL Centers are a place where kids can just be kids,” said Ted Qualli, executive director, PAL. “Opening new centers around the city means more access and more opportunity for our community to connect and engage in a way that is fun, free and safe.”
In the spring of 2017, Bona Certified Contractor, City Floor Supply and Dove Lin, asked if Bona could help them work with PAL in renovating a new center in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood. The new center was slated to take over the Strawberry Mansion School which had been closed and needed to be totally refurbished. The location is in one of Philadelphia’s highest need neighborhoods. In fact, the school was once considered one of the most dangerous schools in the country. While the need for a PAL center was clear, the project provided some obstacles including the large scope of the overhaul and lack of funding. Additionally, PAL and City Floor Supply needed to navigate the scheduling and organizing of the various trade organizations.
Bona stepped in to donate products from its line of Bona SuperSport waterborne system for the project. Bona’s line of SuperSport products offer a more environmentally friendly process and are proved to save time. Additionally, the products will offer a beautiful, durable result – a sport floor the center can be proud to use. The team also tapped into a diverse labor force to complete the various construction tasks. The union trades are required to annually perform voluntary Mandatory Union Participation Service (MUPS) which pairs experienced union trade personnel with aspiring apprentice workers who are looking to learn and master a specific skill. The experienced workers guide the apprentice workers through the steps of starting and finishing a project and ultimately gain valuable experience to use in the future.
“We were honored to be included in this important community project with PAL, City Floors and DoveLin,” said Tom Amato, Regional Sport Manager – East Coast, BonaUS. “For 100 years Bona has connected with homeowners, business and communities to create beautiful floors. When projects like this one come around, it makes all the research, innovation and hard work we do that much more impactful.”
Once all the pieces were in place, City Floors and DoveLin began work on the floor. The original floor, a vinyl composition tile, was covered with a moisture barrier followed by a plywood subfloor. Next, the team laid the maple wood gym floor. Once installation was complete, the team sanded and prepared the floor for finishing. Using the fast drying, low VOC Bona SuperSport DTS the team sealed the floor. Game lines on the floor were painted with Bona SuperSport Paint a fast drying, waterbased game line paint manufactured specifically for use with both waterborne and oil-modified sport floor sealers and finishes. Finally, the team completed the floor with Bona Sport 350 Poly a premium quality, low VOC, high solids oil-modified polyurethane developed specifically for the wood sport floor market.
“From start-to-finish this project was all about community and giving back,” said Fred Beach, Owner, City Floor Supply. “Bona donated product, the union volunteered time and skills, and Dove Lin and City Floor offered our project management and expertise. It was a team effort with one focus – creating a safe, welcoming place for kids in the community.”
The result was a beautiful, safe, welcoming place for the Strawberry Mansion community. On September 7, 2017 the new center was unveiled to the community. Among the attendees were officials from city and state government including Mayor Jim Kenney, School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite, Jr., and Pennsylvania State Representative Donna Bullock (District 195), 40+ members of the Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA), Police Athletic League (PAL) leadership, and community members dozens of children in the Strawberry Mansion community and NBA players from the Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons and Amir Johnson. More than 400 children are already enrolled for tutoring and athletic programs at the new state of the art Philadelphia Police Athletic League Center in Strawberry Mansion.
“Such a massive renovation project simply couldn’t happen without the participation of our partners. We are grateful to have a new center in Strawberry Mansion and look forward to years of activities and community gatherings at the center,” said Qualli.
Watch the opening celebration!
After nearly 19 months of work by the Bona SHE, Product Management, Marketing and Sales teams, on September 10, 2017, our Bona SuperCourt® Hardwood Floor Cleaner Concentrate and the Bona SuperCourt Winter Formula Concentrate cleaners, along with the Bona Commercial System™ Winter Formula Cleaner all received Green Seal™ certification. Bona is the only company in the industry to offer GS37-certified hardwood floor cleaners on the market, and having the certification will allow Bona to support the sustainability efforts within the education segment.
Bona AB is a family-owned company founded in 1919. With its headquarters in Sweden, Bona is now present in more than 90 different countries all over the world through subsidiaries and distributors. We provide products for the installation, maintenance and renovation of hardwood floors.
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