© April 2009
GearBoss by Wenger introduces a new line of custom grid
lockers that will upgrade your locker room to a varsity team room and provide the most sanitary environment possible.
Walk into many football locker rooms during the season, and you’ll see familiar sights: helmets and shoulder pads strewn about, jerseys, pants and towels flung everywhere, players trying to navigate between rusted, paint-chipped lockers and built-in benches that clog traffic. In short, chaos. Open up a locker and you’re likely to see – and smell – items ranging from spoiled food, unidentifiable liquids, chewing tobacco remnants, or worse.
If this scene reminds you of your facility, then you have an environment that subjects your athletes to numerous health hazards, some potentially deadly, and fails to generate pride in your program.
GearBoss by Wenger has a recommendation – begin creating varsity traditions in a team room with the help of new GearBoss AirPro™ Lockers. Wenger Corporation, a leader in athletic storage systems including premium wood lockers, has introduced a new line of superior grid lockers that not only provide a practical, sanitary solution for athletic facilities, but also instill pride into your varsity program.
The advantages of having an upgraded varsity team room that is dedicated to football during the season and used by other teams during the off-season are many, according to Gregg Nelson, senior market manager at Wenger responsible for the GearBoss line. “Major college coaches are well aware of the importance of the team room in recruiting and establishing team pride,” said Nelson. “We learned, by talking to our high school and small college customers, that they also needed facilities that stand apart – to give athletes areas that they can aspire to be part of through a varsity sport. They told us that they were recruiting, too.” Wenger thus saw a need for a new locker that would be a major upgrade over traditional sheet metal lockers yet still be affordable to virtually any school, and the AirPro™ Locker line was born.
Many of the features that are built into Wenger’s AirPro™ Lockers were originally developed for their line of premier wood lockers. “Our approach to locker design, sanitation and customization in the AirPro™ Lockers line is based on what we learned from customers of our wooden lockers,” said Nelson. “We wanted to create lockers that were affordable to high schools and small colleges but retain the most important and most popular features of our high-end wood lockers, and we think we’ve succeeded.”
The Wenger approach to developing a new product is comprehensive. “We started with our experience in wood lockers,” recalled Nelson. Then, they listened to their customers’ feedback about the new lockers and explored how they could incorporate specific, customer-driven features. “We engaged the marketplace.” said Nelson, “We learned what their needs were and we designed the new product to meet those needs.”
The AirPro™ Locker unit is made from durable metal tubing and grill work – available in your school colors. Incorporated into each unit are footlockers, security strongboxes and integrated seats that eliminate the need for space-robbing, floor-mounted benches. That’s where the standard units end and the custom units begin. “The options that we make available to customers give us over a thousand different configurations,” says Nelson. In addition to three different widths, the AirPro™ Lockers are available in an open configuration, with a lockable footlocker, or with solid-panel wood or grille doors that, when locked, restrict access to the footlocker.
One of the primary objectives of any modern athletic locker system should be keeping equipment dry. The openness of the AirPro™ Lockers alone promotes air flow but, to increase air circulation and drying, Wenger can install fans that will effectively dry out athletes’ garments and shoes in short order. Plus, to provide an exposed environment for shoulder pads and helmets, Wenger offers buyers a “football topper”, which is essentially a drying rack extension that is installed on the top of every locker unit.
The open grid system that creates good air flow is the first step in creating a more sanitary environment: a paramount concern of coaches, athletes, administrators and parents in this age of MRSA and other health hazards that can arise in germ-laden locker room surroundings. During the product development phase of the AirPro™ Lockers, improved sanitation was also a major concern of Wenger. “We visited dozens of schools, looked at their locker rooms and saw big sanitation problems,” said Wenger’s Gregg Nelson. “We knew we had to do a better job, so we started by designing a locker that could be cleaned from underneath.” Debris and undesirable items drop through the grid and onto the floor, making for easy clean-up and an infinitely more sanitary space than the bottom of a traditional sheet metal locker.
For good measure, Wenger uses paint that is treated with anti-microbial agents that create an inhospitable environment that is lethal to most micro-organisms, according to Nelson. “Mold, mildew and MRSA cannot grow on these surfaces”, he said. “It’s one more brick in an arsenal of defense against germs.
Great design that automatically creates a cleaner, healthier environment for athletes? Check. Features and options that will make any team room a place where coaches can inspire their athletes? Most definitely. But what about the cost? “We didn’t set out to be the least expensive system on the market,” said Gregg Nelson, “we set out to be the best.” That said, there are some significant cost savings that are realized when installing AirPro™ Lockers that can easily offset unit costs that are higher than traditional metal lockers. Concrete block or wooden beds, for example, must be installed to serve as a platform for raised metal lockers. With AirPro™ Lockers, this construction cost is saved. Plus, the cost of purchasing and installing additional benches is eliminated.
With built-in features that ensure a more sanitary facility and an eye-popping design that can inspire team pride, the new AirPro™ Lockers from Wenger can be welcome additions to new or upgraded team rooms at schools everywhere. When you’re ready to take your facility to the next level, they are the obvious choice.
For more information -800-493-6437 www.wengercorp.com