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Custom Perforated Metal Adds Punch to California Multi-Sports Complex

Custom Round Hole Perforated Metal creates stunning screen with silhouette sports figures signifying each school athletic program.

West Covina Aquatic Sports Complex

In ongoing efforts to provide safe and high-quality learning environments, a school district in West Covina, California, set out to upgrade its aging aquatic center with an Olympic-size pool. They decided to combine the modernized swimming pool with adjacent sports venues. The result is a building designed around shared recreational facilities strategically located on the Edgewood High School campus called West Covina USD Sports Complex.

To match their ambitious initiative, West Covina Unified School District (USD) envisioned a dramatic entrance featuring decorative metal screens that would give the sports complex security and a clear sense of arrival while signifying its sports-related purpose.

Additionally, since the new complex would serve students of Edgewood High School, West Covina High School, their guests and public events, planners knew that the metal security doors, restrooms and locker rooms would receive high volume traffic. Therefore, these areas also needed varying patterns of specialty metal.

Specialty Metals Added Flair To Function

The project team–consisting of the school district, WLC Architects of Rancho Cucamonga, CA and Balfour Beatty as the general contractor–imagined the benefits of incorporating specialty metal products into the design, including Round Hole Perforated Metal and Square Hole Perforated Metal. The team understood that integrating these products would enhance the venue’s function and add flair to the facility design.

A picture of the entrance to Edgewood High's Sports Complex.
Main entrance to the West Covina USD Sports Complex.

How Custom Perforated Metal Played an Essential Role

Plans for the sports complex’s bold entrance include showcasing the venue’s activities, including track and field, swimming, basketball and baseball, even when backlit at night. The team’s design for the decorative screen/sign combination called for qualities of Perforated Metal: a durable material that could be easily transformed, offering filtration and ventilation.

In addition to the decorative signage screen, custom Perforated Metal would play a functional and aesthetic role in other areas throughout the complex, including metal security doors at the gate entrances where Square Perforated Metal infill panels provide safety, light and ventilation. Likewise, custom Perforated Metal panels were used to screen the restroom entry doors and enhance the locker doors with ventilation, light and durability.

A picture of a custom orange Perforated Metal art piece at Edgewood High School in West Covina, California.
Entryway featuring custom Perforated Metal panels that represent campus activities

The Hole Challenge

Because these design features are unique to a facility exposed to year-round use and outside elements, the Perforated Metal had to be custom, durable, corrosion-resistant and low maintenance. Likewise, the material needed aesthetic and decorative attributes. All are characteristics of McNICHOLS® Perforated Metal.

This need for custom material meant finding a supplier that is geographically accessible with knowledgeable fabrication specialists who can customize products to meet the team’s design and construction needs.

The challenge was finding two patterns of custom Round Hole Perforated Metal, one for the backdrop and one for the sports figure silhouettes, with enough contrast to make the sports figures “pop” visually.

A wide shot of the custom Perforated Metal panels in West Covina, California at Edgewood High School's Aquatic Sports Complex.
Signage for West Covina USD Sports Complex featuring custom Perforated Metal panels.

The Hole Solution

McNICHOLS provided guidance to the architect whose original CAD drawings specified custom Perforated Metal with holes sizes and open area too similar in pattern to create enough contrast between the backdrop and sports figures to achieve the desired visual effect during the day and at night.

y recommending differing spaced hole patterns based on available tooling layouts, McNICHOLS helped direct the architect to reformat the design of the sports figures to produce a more dramatic variance between the background perforations and the sports figures.

Since the Perforated Metal panels in specified areas are exposed to year-round use and outdoor elements, each custom metal sheet was powder coated with a zinc-rich primer and a single coat of polyester of standard RAL color.

McNICHOLS provided a total of 29 custom panels of Round Hole and Square Hole Perforated Metal for the project. Sixteen Round Hole Perforated panels were installed for the decorative entry screen/sports figures and nine panels were used inside the complex for the restroom screens and locker doors. The remaining four custom panels were Square Hole Perforated Metal sheets installed above the security doors at the entrances.

Overhead view of the swimming pool at the Aquatic Sports Complex in West Covina.
Overhead shot of West Covina USD Sports Complex at night.

A Vision Achieved with Custom Perforated Metal

With a combination of custom Perforated Metal products, a well-thought-out design, and a solution-oriented specialty metals provider, the sports complex is seen as a beacon to academic and athletic excellence where students and the West Covina area community can enjoy this new facility for years to come.

Featured Products:

  • Sports figures: Custom, Round, Carbon Steel, HRPO, 11 Gauge (.1196" Thick), 3/4" Round on 1-3/8" Staggered Centers, 27% Open Area
  • Backdrop area, restroom screens, locker doors: Custom, Round, Carbon Steel, HRPO, 11 Gauge (.1196" Thick), 1/2" Round on 1-3/4" Staggered Centers, 7.7% Open Area
  • Security entrance gates: Square, Carbon Steel, HRPO, 11 Gauge (.1196" Thick), 3/4" Square on 1-1/8" Straight Centers

Product Benefits:

  • Custom
  • Durable
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Low maintenance
  • Visual impact
  • Light and air diffusion
  • Ease of fabrication

If you’d like to learn more about how Perforated Metal could work for your project, contact us at 855.318.8791, [email protected], or via Live Chat on