What Colleges and Universities Need to Know when Sourcing their Lockers

During the course of a day, a student attending a college or university will find the need to store their valuables. People using the campus health and fitness centers, medical students, musicians, and student athletes find their personal lockers in the locker room to be their private sanctuary. This standard or custom locker serves as the one unique spot on campus aside from their dorm that is designated solely for their use during their college years. A beautifully designed, state-of-the art locker room can even help with the recruitment of students for whom a campus locker is essential.

When selecting new lockers for your facility, it is important to be well informed on the many choices available. A facility manager is empowered to make decisions that will have an impact on lifecycle costs. These critical judgement calls will save the university money over a lifetime of their investment.

Initially, it is important to analyze how many students will need to utilize the space and how many individuals will be using the lockers at any given time. This will determine the available lockers needed daily. Identifying how much space you have and calculating how many lockers it will accommodate can be daunting task. List Industries offers design services to help you estimate the number of lockers which will size to your available spaces.

The next step is to determine the location of the lockers and any physical factors that may affect your decision. Facilities with concrete floors, carpeting, or synthetic material all present differently. The type of flooring may play a key factor in where you choose to place the lockers to maintain the locker-room aesthetics.

Ventilation is important in a locker room, especially one intended for student athletes. Locker doors with ventilation offer aeration due to the presence of damp clothing, athletic gear, shoes, wet towels, or swimsuits. In a high-traffic, high-moisture area like near a campus natatorium or shower area, a moisture-resistant phenolic or HDPE plastic locker is highly recommended.

Phenolic has been around for over 30 years and is commonly used in science classrooms as black countertops for chemical experiments or as bathroom partitions. The composite resin phenolic is a hard and dense material that resists mold, mildew, bacteria, corrosion, and odors. It’s available in a wide range of laminate colors and is the go-to material for making lockers that are impact resistant and moisture proof. List Industries’ phenolic lockers carry a 20-year warranty, which improves your institution’s return on investment (ROI).

An alternate category of lockers are plastic lockers, or HDPE (high density polyethylene). These are moisture proof, mold resistant, and come in a range of styles. There are limited colors and locking systems with this form of locker.
Furniture grade wood is another option. This wood is virtually unaffected by typical locker room conditions, including high levels of moisture. It comes in a variety of colors and styles and is designed to stand up to locker-room wear and tear. Modern team lockers can be sized and outfitted with numerous options including school logos, coat rods, upgraded coat hooks, padded seats with team logos, ventilation inserts, power/USB outlets, and shoulder pad holders.

The extremely durable and secure metal locker is still a great investment. These lockers are available in an assortment of colors, lock options, widths, depths, and heights with door configurations in wardrobe, box, and Z-style. Metal lockers have an extensive lifespan and, with the improvements in aesthetics and design, they are far from the old industrial look of the past. Moreover, in high-humidity environments, metal lockers can be coated using a process called Galvanneal prior to being powder coated with the paint color. This method is similar to the process a new car undergoes prior to being painted. Galvanneal functions as a rust inhibitor and can add another five to ten years to your metal lockers.

Your choice for locks is also an essential factor, from a simple padlock to a key lock, built-in lock, digital lock, RFID, or use of a cell phone for access. Most schools also have pass-thru lockers attached to their equipment rooms for game day uniforms and practice uniforms. When utilizing a built-in lock, you can opt to set up the player’s locker and the pass-thru locker with an identical combination, making it easier for the students.

In years past, it seems like locker rooms were an afterthought. With modern styling and technology, they can be the focus of a new project or a renovation, a way to make spaces that are comfortable and convenient for the students as well as safe havens for their belongings, and look more modern and inviting than you ever thought possible.

About the Author
Steve Troyano, Product Manager for the Wood and Phenolic Locker Division at List Industries, has been with List Industries for eight years as the National Sales Manager and Product Manager supporting the Gainesville Manufacturing plant. He has extensive experience in Project Management and Locker Room design. Contact: 843-371-4790 (Cell), stt@listindustries.com, www.listindustries.com.