Brilliant School Installations
Specifying flooring for educational facilities requires nuanced knowledge for long-lasting installations. Every space—from classrooms and corridors to libraries and gymnasiums—has varying performance needs. Whatever the area, flooring is a high-impact surface that requires low maintenance requirements and high durability against foot traffic, scuffs and furniture indentations. We’ve rounded up a few successful school installations to inspire your next projects.
Evansville-Vanderburgh Schools, the second largest school system in Indiana, has a lot of students—22,000 of them—and a lot of spaces with varying flooring needs. Like all school districts, it is always short on time and money.
“We have 5 million square feet of building,” said Pat Tuley, chief financial officer. “We have a lot of needs in terms of carpeting and flooring, and we know, since we’re not going to have money to replace carpet every 10 or 12 years, that we have to have a product that lasts.”
Durability and price were key factors in a recent renovation. Evansville-Vanderburgh also needed a product that it could get quickly; installation had to be completed over the summer before students returned in the fall.
That’s why when the district began thinking of renovating the flooring in three schools, Mohawk Group representative Neil Bogenschutz suggested looking at the selections available through Mohawk’s QuickShip program. With QuickShip, Evansville-Vanderburgh had access to hundreds of ready-to-order products that address tight project schedules. All selections were available to ship within 10 business days, but many were in stock and ready to ship immediately.
“It allowed us to get a product installed in a short period of time,” Tuley said.
The QuickShip program also offers a variety of high-performance hard and soft surfaces that can play a role in students’ academic success, Bogenschutz said. The school system chose Get Smart carpet tile, which uses a kinesthetic pattern of modern crosshatching to infuse schools with energy. Like all of Mohawk’s soft surface products, Get Smart includes a Declare label, which details the material ingredients of the product and its recyclability. It is CRI Green Label Plus Certified and Red List-free, which means it contains no chemicals that are harmful to living creatures or the environment.
- Evansville-Vanderburgh Schools
- Multiple School Renovations
- Evansville, Ind.
- Materials: Get Smart carpet tile and Select Step LVT
- Project Size: 3,000 sq. yds. hard and soft surface
- Project Lead: Randy Rasure Flooring, Evansville, Ind.
Georgia Southern University’s store is a major hub of campus activity, serving more than 20,000 students who purchase everything from textbooks and school supplies to novelty gift items and accessories. During football season, the store is packed with shoppers buying GSU Eagles-branded team spirit wear. To replace the flooring during school break, the facility and maintenance managers sought a wood-look flooring that could stand up to high foot traffic and spills and provide easy maintenance along with durability and longevity.
“Our school colors are blue and white, so most of what we carry is either navy or with navy accents, so we wanted a flooring that would make the merchandise pop,” said Carlia Slatky, director, Georgia Southern University Store. “The original carpet tiles created an uneven look when worn, faded and stained ones were replaced. We needed something that would wear well, be quiet, comfortable and easily cleaned—no more ‘dust bunnies’.”
Aspecta Five provided the high-performing, great-looking solution. Distributor William M. Bird & Co. in Charleston, S.C., supplied this project, and Statesboro Floor Covering Service in Statesboro, Ga., managed the installation.
Available within two weeks throughout the continental United States, Aspecta Five is made of 100% virgin vinyl and offers a 28-mil wear layer, a 25-year non-prorated commercial warranty and 10-year pro-rated labor warranty. Georgia Southern selected the color Melbourne Elm to infuse the space with the look of natural wood with a clean style. The no-wax floor is easy to clean throughout the day, and planks and tiles can be easily replaced, if needed. “The Aspecta team and I scheduled a post-installation maintenance training session even though the floor looked amazing—we wanted to ensure the janitorial staff knew how to take care of their new floor so it stays great-looking for many years to come,” said Chris Gaddy, territory sales manager, William M. Bird & Co.
- Georgia Southern University Store
- Statesboro, GA
- Materials: Aspecta Five Melbourne Elm Autumn
- Project Size: 13,500 sq. ft.
- Project Lead: Statesboro Floor Covering Service, Statesboro, Ga.
In a unique education design case study, school district officials at Grand Valley School District in northeastern Ohio evaluated how the materials of a past renovation maintained over the course of a decade. They installed Nora rubber flooring throughout the then-new 244,000-sq.ft. educational facility that houses pre-k through grade 12.
“Over time, we’ve realized this floor is relatively indestructible,” said Paul Byler, executive director for facilities and operations, Grand Valley School District. “Anything you come across, you can get off this floor. We don’t use any chemicals to clean either—only water.”
Byler said despite higher up-front costs, the floor has paid for itself over time when he factors in the amount of money the custodial staff has saved in wax, strippers, chemicals and time.
“Rubber is an entirely different maintenance regimen—a much easier and simplified, yet highly efficient, regimen,” Byler said.
The heavily used facility is in operation virtually 24/7. Byler noted that coating-free flooring has translated to less dust and debris buildup in vents, observed in the school’s yearly upkeep of heating and air ventilation systems. The Nora team provided Byler’s team direction and support to keep Grand Valley looking for many years, and the benefits also go beyond maintenance.
“We haven’t had a worker’s comp claim since, due to the level of ergonomics Nora rubber provides,” he added.
- Grand Valley School District
- Northeastern Ohio
- Materials: Nora rubber flooring
- Project Size: 244,000-sq.ft.