• Home
  • Blogs
  • Retractable Seat Types for Gymnasiums

7 Retractable Seat Types For Gymnasiums

By Anne Chapman

October 15, 2020


In many schools, the gymnasium is the multifunctional heart of the school, where every type of gathering and event takes place. It is the location for indoor school sports, but also often the place where students play music, act in plays, eat their meals, and watch speakers and guests. Because of this, gymnasiums need to be versatile and adaptable.

Retractable seats can be brought out when needed and securely tucked away when you need the space clear for something else. No one seating type will suit every facility's needs, and retractable seats offer easy space conversions for all the different events happening in the school gymnasium.

Begin setting expectations for your gymnasium by thinking about who will be using the space, how many people you need to accommodate, and what sorts of activities you anticipate it’ll be used for. Once you know what your needs will be, you can begin working on designing a space that can work regardless if you are hosting basketball, the chorale concert, or the fall dance. Here are a few retractable seating options to consider:

Plastic Seat Modules


Plastic modules are a type of bench or bleacher-style seat, and they’re perfect for spectator seats at games. The shape allows you to accommodate the largest crowd your space allows.

This type of seating allows you to choose from a wide range of colors to coordinate with school brand or another desired color scheme. Seat numbers, row letters, and end seat logos can be easily applied. This seat type comes in either a 10 or 12 inch depth with an 18 inch width, and it’s available on all industry standard row rise and seat spacing arrangements.

Wood Seating

Shelbyville Hs 2993

Wooden bleacher-style seating allows you to give your space a nostalgic look and feel. The polyurethane coating is both attractive and durable. This seating comes in attractive yellow pine in either three-quarter inch or one inch thickness. Instead of individual seats, our wooden bleachers use continuous seating like the plastic seats mentioned above and are available on all industry standard row rise and spacing arrangements. Accessories like permanent or recoverable wheelchair seating allow you to customize the space for accessibility. End curtains make it easy to display school spirit.

Fold Down Chairs


This option involves individual seats either in solid plastic or with upholstered pads. Accessories include plastic armrests, cup holders, or folding tablet arms. While upholstered seats may need more intensive care and maintenance than hard surfaces like plastic, they also allow for more comfort.

Talk to us about available upholstery styles and colors to see which fit your needs best. Be sure to assess the space available when considering this seating option, as it requires a minimum of thirty inches of row spacing. It is available on all industry standard row rises.

Nose Mounted Chairs

Sjsu Spartan 6200

This option is a subset of fold down chairs. Individual chairs offer upholstered seats and backs in a range of colors. It's available on all industry standard row risers and requires a minimum of thirty-three inches of row spacing. Installations like the one we did at the Spartan Complex at San Jose State University allow for seats to be folded away for storage to provide more space.

Plastic Seats On Concrete Risers

IU Wilkinson 4199

This style of seat comes in a ten or twelve inch depth. It requires at least twenty-two inches of tread depth and is compatible with most row rises. The hard plastic material is available in a range of colors, and can have seat numbers, row letters and end-seat logos applied to it. This is an option that makes care and maintenance easy. No worrying about spilled drinks or marks from pens. They simply wipe down when an event is done.

Choral Risers (Low Rise Platforms)

Western Ave 10

Retractable choral risers are an excellent option for organizations that feature performances. Choral risers make it easy for all vocal performers to see the conductor, and for the audience to see everyone during the performance. These are available in all industry standard row rise configurations and row spacing options. They can also be customized to fit the size of your performing groups and slide easily away when the space is being used for other purposes.

Combination Seating


Sometimes, no one type of seating will serve every purpose in a space. In these instances, consider combination seating, where chairs and modules are combined in a space to serve the area's purpose more effectively. For instance, you may wish to have choral risers in one area, then wooden or plastic bench-style seats in another, and a small section of fold-down chairs with tablets for when the area will be used for instructional space.

Every institution's needs are different. By assessing your space and how you want it to be used, you can come up with a seating arrangement that will suit your space well. Get in touch to learn more about seating types and which can work best for you.