Georgia students and faculty started the school year with reimagined media centers, sensory rooms and counseling centers at several schools across the state thanks to the School Crashers program and Mohawk Group. Since the first “crashes” nearly a decade ago, Mohawk Industries’ commercial flooring division and Georgia United Foundation have worked together to refresh learning spaces and facilitate renovations in underserved public schools.
“We value the partnership with Mohawk, from having their input on the judging process and reviewing grant applications, to design assistance for the selected grant spaces, and even providing volunteers to help complete the work at the schools,” said Liz Riffert, community development officer at Georgia United Credit Union. “Without the involvement from Mohawk we would not have been able to provide grants to 57 schools, impacting almost 40,000 students across Georgia.”
Each spring, schools are encouraged to apply for facility makeovers, sharing a list of specific needs and why their campus would benefit from the program. From these nominations, the Foundation chooses the lucky winners. The school makeover program is designed to unite communities to support local improvement projects for deserving schools. Over the past nine years, Mohawk Group has collaborated with School Crashers to donate nearly $155,000 in flooring products. The commercial-grade surfaces work together to create exciting new designs aimed at reinforcing school pride and positively impacting the school experience.
“We recognize and understand the importance of the built environment and its effect on learning outcomes,” said Cyndie Goss, senior director of the education segment at Mohawk Group. “Fresh, inspiring environments can foster and encourage learning, and when that happens, everybody wins. Outside of students, faculty and staff, their respective support systems at home can also feel the impact.”
As the official flooring partner of the School Crashers program, Mohawk Group collectively provided more than 7,000 square feet of modular carpet and luxury vinyl tile to Heritage High School, Conyers; Radloff Middle School, Duluth; Towers High School, Decatur; and Westside Middle School, Rocky Face. All renovations were completed just in time for the beginning of the 2022–23 school year.
Westside Middle School is located in Whitfield County just minutes from several Mohawk manufacturing facilities in Dalton. More than half of this year’s total School Crashers flooring donation was set aside specifically to enhance and improve its media center and counseling office areas. In addition to updated flooring, new paint and flexible seating have worked together to create a warm, colorful and inviting central hub for members of the school community. Inside the counseling office, new finishes evoke a safe, welcoming space for parents, students and the counselors working there to support mental health and well-being.
“We are honored to be part of School Crashers year after year because it is such an important program with a measurable, far-reaching impact," Goss said. "It is a valuable opportunity for Mohawk Group to give back to learning communities, both with our time and resources, while also using our expertise and understanding of the specific needs and opportunities in education interiors. There is so much to be said about the love, support and pride that the occupants of these spaces must feel when community partners step up to reinvest in their campus.”
For more information, visit GUCUFoundation.org/SchoolCrashers.