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Sports The Hoop

Prismatic lighting helps create
pro look for basketball club

A "country club for basketball aficionados" is how locals often refer to The Hoop, a 45,000-square-foot basketball facility in Salem, Oregon. The reference seems appropriate since 80 percent of the structure's space is devoted to six basketball courts targeted to every age and level of player. Members also enjoy a deli, big-screen TV lounge, a strength and cardiovascular equipment area, and locker rooms.

Because The Hoop is considered a retail club catering to a paying public, the facility's appearance, including its lighting, is especially important.

"Image is essential to people coming in to look at the facility. Everything is top quality on our courts, from the hardwood maple floors to the pro-level stanchions. Good lighting enhances the appearance of our facility and helps sell our product," explained Sarah Rice, operations manager, The Hoop.

The lighting system installed is Holophane Prismatic Glass Reflector Luminaires with 400 watt metal halide lamps. A total of 140 fixtures with wire guards across the open bottom were utilized, mounted at 22 to 25 feet and spaced 16 feet. The fixtures provide 15 percent uplight to illuminate the ceiling which peaks at 30 feet.

Holophane's Computer Aided Lighting Analysis (CALA) software was used to determine fixture spacing and footcandle requirements. Illumination levels are 75 footcandles overall, 50 footcandles on the two grade school/recreational courts located end-to-end at the front of the building, and 75 footcandles on the three high school-size courts in the back. The college/pro court in the front measures 100 footcandles.

"Our goal was to have excellent lighting on each court. We wanted to eliminate any shadows," said Rice, who pointed out that The Hoop is the playing venue for the Masters Olympics.

Courts are segmented by full-length curtains that are dark hunter green from the floor to eight feet, and white mesh from there to the ceiling. The walls are white concrete, with six bleacher groups equally spaced against one 300-foot wall.

'It's a state-of-the-art club. Few NBA courts are as nice as the main floor in our Salem facility," said Rice. "The lighting on the courts is very even. Members have commented about how much better the illumination is here than in the schools and other facilities where they are accustomed to playing."

The Hoop is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Lighting fixtures are manually operated, with the facility split into three individually controlled areas. No specific maintenance schedule has been developed; fixtures will be group re-lamped as needed.

Rice indicated that while energy was not a primary concern for the Salem facility, which opened in April, 1995, it is for the Vancouver facility where the codes are stricter. The Vancouver location will open in July 1997, and a second facility in Beaverton, Oregon, opened in January.


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