NEW YORK— Columbia Fencing is proud to open the doors of its brand-new fencing room this summer, which will be ready for the 2017-18 campaign.
Radical Fencing, a young fencing company working to incorporate new technology and cutting edge design, headlined the project.
“We are confident that with our newly renovated practice facility, our program will keep striving for more success and more championships,” Columbia Fencing coach Michael Aufrichtig said.
Located in Dodge Physical Fitness Center, the most unique feature of the new fencing room is its shock absorbent floors. This surface is designed to be more resilient for the fencers and help prevent injuries caused by jumping or overuse. The new floor has a United States Patent and is the first of its kind.
Columbia first tested Radical Fencing's design during the 2015 Ivy League Championships, which was hosted at Dodge Fitness Center. Radical Fencing brought in one of its strips, which was used for practice. Aufrichtig liked what he saw and began to plan for its large-scale implementation thereafter.
Another new feature of the room is its flush surface, as all fencing wiring is now hidden under the floor. Fencers can now run from one end to another without tripping or having to step up and down from the strip to the non-fencing surface.
Before the renovation, the fencing room included eight strips, none of which were Olympic size. Now, the room has nine total strips, six of which are regulation length, and all of which are regulation width.
The fencing floor was built off-site in Wisconsin, then shipped to Morningside Heights in 270 separate panels that fit together like a puzzle. The floating floor, called as such because it sits on top of the existing floor, took two weeks to install at Columbia.
Columbia Fencing will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for its fencing alumni base in October. Details on the event will be released at a later date.